Florida’s new standards for teaching Black history are part of a long tradition of white supremacy | Opinion

The long war on Black history continues. The state of Florida approved a new set of standards for teaching Black history, and students at the state’s public high schools will now learn that slavery was a benefit to some Black people because it taught them skills. Consider the language from state standard 68.AA.2.3., which examines the duties and trades performed by enslaved Africans, such as farming and blacksmithing. The instruction “includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Yes, Juneteenth ended slavery, but for many Black people, life didn’t change | Opinion

Juneteenth is the true day of independence in the United States, a holiday that was long overdue for national recognition. It is a recognition of the many African peoples who marched from plantations to the military to fight in securing their freedom and that of their kinfolk and skinfolk alike. It is also important that the order decreeing that slaves were free was read in Galveston, Texas. The city that became the center of Juneteenth celebrations was once a major port for trafficking African

I was hired to write a Black history curriculum. Here’s what happened next.

Sign up for Chalkbeat Newark’s free twice-weekly newsletter to keep up with the city’s public school system. In 2020, I was approached on LinkedIn about working with an organization to create a Black history and social justice course curriculum for high school students. They sought me out because of my previous commentaries about teaching Black history. I told them I was interested, and they asked me to draft a prospectus for such a course. What I provided was a philosophical overview of what

Some Assistance For Howard Stern

I want to help Howard Stern. On his radio show, Stern lamented the lack of attention he received from NBA players at New York Knicks games. He shared: “When I, you know, I have courtside, they put me courtside and the Black players won’t come over and say hello to me, but they go over to Spike Lee… a lot of times when I’m there, I’m next to Tracy Morgan… And he’s sitting there and like, couple of the players will come over. They like give him that bro shake and stuff. And I’m like — these guys

Another Go-Round With The N-Word

Benjamin Franklin once said that in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Over time, there’s more we can add to that list, including the occasional discussion on who’s licensed to use the N-word. Racism, in general, could be added to that list to encompass all things, from the history and use of the N-word to Franklin’s past as an enslaver, but I digress. That occasional discussion has reappeared with the use of the N-word by a white Missouri teacher who was captured saying it by

Opinion: The Flawed Argument Of 'There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch'

As a parent, I get a lot of notices from my children’s school. The school sends letters home, they email me and they call me. It can be a bit much at times and I understand why they do it, but still. One of the more annoying notices is the emails I receive about my negative account balances for lunch purchases. Don’t get me wrong, it’s annoying that my kids would rather spend money at school than eat the food we have at home. As a parent, I am trying to save as much as I can since the price of

Opinion: For All Our 'Progress' As A Country, Teaching Black History Is Too High A Price To Pay

The struggle of Black educators and historians to secure Black history’s place and relevance in K-12 curricula nationwide is not a race but a marathon. Despite numerous states requiring Black history instruction, more states do not mandate such a requirement. Additionally, requiring that Black history is taught is no guarantee that all teachers are competent enough in the subject matter to teach it critically and with care.

Opinion: The Myth Of The Three Meals Exposes The Flawed Psychology Of The Oppressor

As a kid, there were “truths” told to me. I was told that I had to drink milk. I hated milk. Turns out, kids don’t need milk. Experts even say that drinking too much milk can lead to obesity. More disturbing than that was the idea that people needed to eat three meals a day… breakfast, lunch and dinner. I heard this my whole life. Meanwhile, I was never a breakfast person. I usually ate when I was hungry. Turns out that eating three meals a day is a very Eurocentric idea or way of knowing. Wh

Opinion: Trump Is The First To Be Indicted But Others Should Have Come Before

Donald Trump was indicted in the state of New York for falsifying business records to cover up a much larger crime — illegally influencing a presidential campaign and election in his favor. He’s the first president, current or former, to be indicted. That, and his being impeached twice, will assure his place in history. But truthfully, more than half of all presidents should have, at the very least, received indictments. Quite honestly, prisons across the country should be filled with their gh

Opinion: Critical Race Theory, A Master Class With Low Attendance

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a legal and academic school of thought developed by various legal scholars, including Kimberle Crenshaw and Derrick Bell, that says race (a social construct) and racism are not merely the products of individual bias or prejudice but also something embedded in legal systems and public policies. While CRT is accepted in legal and academic circles, the concept has enemies in political circles and has thus been placed within the culture wars, along with abortion and LG

Justin Pearson and Justin Jones aren’t the first Black lawmakers expelled from state bodies | Opinion

State Rep. Justin Jones (left) and expelled State Rep. Justin Pearson raise their hands just before Jones takes the oath of office outside the state Capitol on Monday, April 10, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Jones, who along with Pearson was expelled last week over their role in a gun-control protest on the House floor in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting, was reinstated Monday after Nashville’s governing council voted to send him straight back to the legislature.

Staying Woke Amid White Noise: Conservative White Nationalists Complain Of Wokeness Again But Not Of Racism

This month, the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed, the largest bank collapse since 2008, as a result of investing short-term deposits into long-term bonds. When interest rates rose, the value of the bonds fell, wiping out the equity of the bank. Yet somehow, non-white men are to blame. According to Andy Kessler for the Wall Street Journal, SVB’s collapse might have to do more with a focus on meeting equity demands with respect to its leadership. A quote from Kessler’s piece was shared on Twi

Before Governors’ Push on School Breakfast, Black Panthers Were Feeding Kids

Free school breakfast has been in the news recently, with the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, signing a bill to provide meals to all students, and the governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, announcing, “we’re going to provide universal free breakfast in our schools.” In a chapter of my new book, I tell the story of the breakfast program’s beginnings. Participation in the federally funded School Breakfast Program has slowly but steadily grown over the years: 1970: 0.5 million children; 1980:

Slavery and Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century New Jersey

Slavery and Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century New Jersey Chattel enslavement was introduced into the colony of New Jersey in the seventeenth century, shortly after the Dutch first settled in the colony. While a port existed in Camden to the southwest, Perth Amboy was the major port of entry for trafficking enslaved persons in the state due to its close proximity to New York City. From 1737 up until 1800, the slave population went from just under 4,000 to well over 12,000, with the highest concentration

How to Teach Black Resistance Beyond Black History Month

History is a complex bag full of triumphs and tragedies. History teachers are charged with breaking down intricate details in a way in which students understand the pathways to success and to sin. This is all done in an attempt to learn from the past so that society can strategically chart toward the future. This requires students to be open to learning, teachers to be brave in order to confront hard truths, and communities to be willing to trust teachers to teach and students to learn.

Ja Morant was suspended from the NBA for a gun video. Yet people in Congress do the same thing | Opinion

Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on Feb. 23, 2023, in Philadelphia. Read more In 2018, I saw Ja Morant play for the first time when he was a student at Murray State. What I remember most was the high-flying dunks that were forceful yet graceful. More than just a dunker, Morant was the unquestioned leader and chief facilitator of his team, guiding them to the NCAA tournament round of 32. Now the Memphis Gri

Opinion: Know Your Audience, Never Assume That A White Person Is Familiar With Black Governance Language

When I was in grad school, made the mistake of calling a white professor I was reaching out to for advisement “Doc.” He was less than happy. He said that my “tone” was unprofessional and not the way a student should refer to a professor… and I was wrong… wrong for assuming this white man was familiar with Black governance speak, where referencing one as “Doc” was a compliment—particularly for those without a doctoral degree of some sort. … Because Black folks understand, historically speaking,

Opinion: Blackness Can’t Enter The Transfer Portal

Football Coach Deion Sanders departed Jackson State University (JSU) for “greener” pastures at the University of Colorado (UC). It was his right and prerogative to make that career decision. With him came the players and coaches of his choosing. While coaches can come and go as they please with respect to employment, the players came to UC by way of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) transfer portal, whether from JSU or any other school. The transfer portal is a compliance tool

Opinion: If DeSantis Knew History, He'd Know His Crusade Won't Work

If Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis knew history, he’d realize that his crusade against teaching Black history in schools won’t work. However, since he is ignorant of it, he’ll continue working to fight against Black humanity. Failure to learn Black history has DeSantis unaware of the reality that where there is oppression, there is resistance. And where white supremacy abounds, Black resistance abounds much more. Historian Dr. Herbert Aptheker, in his research, speaks of eight forms of Black resistance

How and Why to Teach Black Resistance in U.S. History

After Florida's decision to block the APAAS course, the College Board announced the removal of several topics from the curriculum, including the Black Lives Matter movement, intersectionality, and Black feminist thought. The board has maintained that the changes were part of an internal revision process that had started before the Florida dispute and were not related. What's clear is that, despite the political noise, equity-oriented educators must take determined steps to emphasize the education
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