The Struggle, Most Definitely, Continues!
White Christian America’s notion that Black people are less than human remains at the heart of America’s core racist attitudes. This Christian country saw fit to establish signs, pass laws, and use violent intimidation to direct Blacks to their proper places: Colored and White water fountain signs, Colored and White restroom signs, segregated schools, segregated restaurants, segregated hotels, segregated motels, segregated movie theaters, segregated doctors’ offices, segregated buses and bus stations, segregated churches, segregated trains and train stations, segregated sports venues, segregated government offices at all levels, segregated public facilities, and segregated beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Racist signs and racist laws represented a daily reminder as White America sought to reinforce their Christian “biblical notion” that Blacks were inferior and, in effect, Blacks were less than Whites.” DR. JAMISON'S WORDS...... Every student wants to matter, every student wants to be accepted, every student wants to learn, every student wants to contribute, and every student deserves a quality education that is responsive to his or her reality. History, and the books from which it is taught, is extremely critical to whether the quality and responsiveness of public education is empathic to students’ reality. More importantly, is the history we are teaching in schools accurate? History books are pivotal elements of identity development for young people that have thus far been written by the victors: the stories of White American power structures. Evading the reality of American history, particularly as it relates to Black folk, rejects the factual acts of terror in America and perpetuates dishonest narratives that keep White folk comfortable. The absence of an acknowledged brutal history relieves us, and I do mean everyone, of our moral responsibility to right America’s wrongs. When we consider the purpose of public education, some would argue that it sits on a continuum between democratic equality, social efficiency, and social mobility. If we can agree on these as functions of public education, then we can understand that history plays an important role in where we see ourselves situated in the world today. Unfortunately, Black folk have gotten the short end of the stick in terms of where we see ourselves, as well as where others see us in history. How do I see America? Let me count the ways. I see America through a lens that is oftentimes undervalued by others, especially White folk: competitive, prideful, compassionate, educated, slightly overweight, and Black. America was founded exclusive of others; Black folk did not play a role in the assembly of its ideals nor were we included as participants in pursuit of “freedom, justice, and liberty for all.” I am not sure if there is any other way I can see America other than through the eyes of a Black male who grew up in a disenfranchised community branded by scarcity, savagery, and less than—a Black male who has been relatively successful and conscious enough to be discouraged by systems of oppression that have been maintained over time. I see America through a lens that ignores the love, accountability, and high expectations so prevalent in poverty and marginalization. This thinking permeates the teaching of young Blacks. Whites and Black know better, yet they do nothing. A Crime? You bet your understanding of the human condition it is. The Struggle Continues. 0 Comments Black Human Dignity and Respect. 3/3/2020 0 Comments I received permission from EIS Studios in New York to use this image in my first book, “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!” From police in riot gear...to Blacks picketing...to the crowd standing behind demonstrators at a lunch counter...to the press reporting on whatever and mostly nothing relevant to the issues of the Civil Rights Movement...to a bus driver...to Mrs. Rosa Parks. These figures are all symbolic of the Civil Rights Movement. Note the images of the two students sitting at the lunch counter. They are the images used by the United States Postal Service when they created the Sit-in Stamp (note inset) in the 2005 Civil Rights Stamp Issue, "To Form A More Perfect Union." The Struggle Continues One of my real pleasures in life is talking to young Black students and telling them and teaching them the Black history they are not taught in school. I am often given a number of rich opportunities to talk to our young people during Black History month, and at times other than Black History Month. Last week was another as I had the honor to speak to a group of our Black Future Brain Trust at the Ritz last week, who are a part of an after school program tutored and taught by the Talented Erin Kendrick and the Creative Shawana Brooks. I was Blessed to have teachers and community folks take time with me during my formative years. It made a difference in my life. Learning is a continuous process. If I can impart and teach a little about who they are, to our young people today...if just one student understands who she/he is and internalizes truth in my presentations...for me, it makes it all worth while. Giving our young people lessons in the Great Legacy of Black History is invigorating, and I can do it every day. Doing nothing is never an option. The Struggle Continues! 0 Comments
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