I 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.
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.
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.
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Freedom pays homage to legendary drag queen, house mother and grandmother-in-her-head Dorian Corey by reminding folks what really constitutes shade vs. reading vs. just being mean to someone.