Since it is Black History Month, I think this is a great time to ask the question: What is happening with the mis-education of today’s Negro? It has been over 50 years since the Civil Rights movement and quite some time has passed since President Barack Obama’s final days in the White House. In just a few months we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of the visionary dreamer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. right here in the beloved Bluff City. Thousands are expected to travel to the great city of Memphis to honor the life and legacy of the man who stood as a symbol of non-violence, equality, justice and equity. But the questions still remain: Where are we as a race or a group of people? And where exactly do we go from here?
Unfortunately, there is an argument that still centers around racial, economic & social equality, who controls what and how it is distributed. It all comes down to who has the power. If you look at the latest school report card for Memphis you will see that the power is not with the Black and brown children who attend public schools in our city. For example, you can look at the current school report cards and see that Black children are significantly behind their white counterparts in core subjects like reading and math. Bottom line: Our kids CAN’T READ. My question is: “Where in the hell have we been as a race?” Why aren’t we outraged? Why do we choose to celebrate the strength and resilience of our ancestors who fought and died to be able to have the same opportunities as their white peers. From slavery to Jim Crow, we fought for the right to learn how to read and write. Now that we have the right to learn and attend school, most of the school systems are failing our students. And yet, we’re not outraged. And I want to know why?
Spare me the woe is me stories that are preventing you from being the activist that you say you want to be. I have said this and will continue to stand by my belief that “Education is the key to our way out.” However, an education is not what simply takes place in a structured classroom with wooden desks, with a teacher that’s been prepped to teach according to a state curriculum that may or may not prepare our kids for life beyond. earning is everywhere. Self-discovery is a tool that can open doors no book ever could and all this constitutes as an education. What’s happening across this city, in these communities & in each of these schools is mind-blowing.f you want to know where to put your attention? I dare you to take a moment and update yourselves about what is taking place with our state of education. What’s going on with schools closing, charter schools coming in by force, and in a minute, vouchers for students to attend private school. I still believe this will be back on the horizon soon. Do not be derailed by the latest failed attempts. Or better yet, how will privatization happen in the midst of public circumstance? I’ve seen stranger things.
My other question to you is what are you going to do? Are you willing to organize & mobilize yourselves? Are you looking to be empowered to make a productive impact in your community? If you are: email me ASAP! Are you willing to advocate on behalf of all students or just your precious one, two, or three? When you are ready to join the efforts of real education reform, let me know. Until then, continue to sit back and watch our city and school system warp right before our eyes.