From Lessons Learned

The Ferguson Lesson- Three Reasons to #CancelBlackFriday

Ferguson MarchI woke up at 4am on the morning of Tuesday, November 25th. I was faced with a challenge: In four hours, I would stand in front of four classrooms filled with young black people, in the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision to not indict Michael Brown’s murderer, Police Officer Darren Wilson. The night before, the decision and the collective emotions on Twitter had me so fatigued that the mental line I had drawn, the line that allows me to separate constructive anger from blind, reactive rage, was diced. I went to sleep early. Never before had the great moral weight of being a teacher felt so heavy to me.

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Why We Need Boundaries, Online and Offline


When I log on to Tumblr or Twitter nowadays, useful, fun and inspiring content is being replaced by venting gone viral. I see responses to people who say things like “You’re cute for a black girl, are you mixed?” or any other example of plain social ineptitude, tinged with colonized non-thinking and poor manners. While the shares and retweets abound, I find myself unable to relate.

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The Corners and Classrooms of Chicago-#FreedomTeaches

the corner still

This post is a part of the “Freedom Teaches” series, where I post my reflections on teaching video production in the alternative schools of Chicago. 

“The Corner” is a recently restored documentary about the early days of Chicago’s Vice Lords street gang. Filmed in 1963, it is astonishing in both what has changed since that time for many young black men that get involved in gang life, and what has not.

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