Whatever the name, Black Studies, Africana studies, or African American Studies, university disciplines designed for understanding African history have a problem of attempting to be too Black. When I say “too Black” I’m not saying that Africana culture (relates to both African and African-Diaspora culture) is annoying, but that the way that scholars handle it can be ridiculous. Most programs are afro-centric, (they teach that everything originates from Africa) so every discussion feels heavy on the criticism of how un-African everyone and everything is. In the case that American education still fascinates itself with European culture disproportionately, I can understand the normal procedures of Africana studies. Regardless though, these programs were set up to help lead the political agendas of Black folks. And as it stands it forgets that the struggle of Black people is the same struggle of enslaved peoples and self-proclaimed masters worldwide.
Is Race to the Top Working?
Cynthia Gordy, The Root | March 30, 2011
There’s a new conversation bubbling up these days at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware.
“We’ve been researching best practices, visiting other schools to learn about programs that have worked for them, and we are constantly talking about what’s best for our students,” says assistant principal Clifton Hayes. “Vice President Biden coming by last week to celebrate was just the icing on the cake.”
It’s been one year since Delaware, along with Tennessee, won the first round of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competitive grant program. Funded by the Recovery Act and designed to spur bold education reform, the program makes $4.35 billion available to all 50 states — but only if they agree to certain guidelines for improving their education systems, such as raising academic standards and boosting support for the lowest-performing schools. Winners of the competition’s second round, announced last August, include Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.
“In each successive round, we’ve leveraged change across the country,” President Obama said in a speech at the National Urban League conference last summer, extolling Race to the Top. “It’s forced teachers and principals and officials and parents to forge agreements on tough and often uncomfortable issues — to raise their sights and embrace education.” (Read more)
You ever get on a plane and as you head to your economy seat slow down to look at the people in first class? I mean, we are all heading to the same place and at least for the course of the flight, we all live in the same neighborhood. But up front, they got options. More than you can imagine. Back in your hood, the economy section, you gotta scrap with the flight attendant for a pillow and pay her two bucks for headphones so you can watch the same channel as everyone in your section. Up front they have big screens on each seat and can order films, watch news, and connect their computers to exclusive wifi.
Over the course of the flight, there are several reminders that you ain’t up front. When the peanuts are being handed out, you can see the passengers receive champagne and warm face cloths. While you are practically living on top of your neighbor in the project-like accommodations of economy class, they have a ton of extra perks. At the end of your flight, you push forward through slow people hoping to escape your little cubbyhole as soon as possible. Up front, they are taking their time. There are empty mini-wine bottles, thicker covers, eye masks, extra pillows, and I’ll be damned, is that a New York Times?
Yes, I work for a hockey team. “Are you the ONLY Black person in the office?” No, I’m not the only Black person in the office. “Do you guys have any Black players?” Yes!
Editor’s Note: YO!TV met up with Kash Gaines and Royshawn Thompson, two turf dancers from YAK Films who have starred in a series of RIP videos that show dancers memorializing their friends who have been killed on Oakland’s streets. Valerie Klinker is a content producer for YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia.
Security heightened at Port Huron school after hit list targeting black students found
Detroit Free Press | March 29, 2011
Extra security is in place at a Port Huron high school after school officials discovered a hit list targeting black students.
The list of seven to nine students was found written on a bathroom wall at Port Huron Northern High School in Fort Gratiot Township a week ago, Port Huron Schools Superintendent H. Ronald Wollen said this morning.
The note said something would happen today, Wollen said.
“They didn’t really get specific,” Wollen said. “That’s why we’re going to have the police patrolling.”
District parents received a letter at home on Monday from Port Huron Northern Principal Chip Mossett alerting them to the threat.
“Even though it is difficult to accurately assess the credibility of the threat, the Port Huron Area School District and the Port Huron Police Department take this type of threat very seriously,” the letter said, according to the Port Huron Times Herald. (Read more)
Amandla…Ngawethu. This is a poem for South Africa.
This is a vocal articulation of tones that ring sounds and
speak clicks for the rainbow nations eleven languages.
This is for Amaqabane, Comrades, and Abuntu.
This poem is for the 27 minute boat ride to Robben Island jail,
where Mandela spent 27 years before becoming
the president of a country that once shackled his ideas,
like locks on the lucrative minds of a child with unlimited potential
this poem is Nelson Mandela’s empty jail cell that
blatantly echoes the insurmountable potential of humanity,
when hate sets like suns going down at the point where two oceans meet.
Fox Atlanta | March 29, 2011
Budget cuts meant a DeKalb County library branch was set to close at the end of this month, but then a 12-year-old boy stepped in.
It was a first person civics lesson for 12-year-old home schooled sixth grader Sekondi Landry. The DeKalb County boy spent hours at the library everyday and he stepped up to save it.
Why black students struggle with science
Janelle Richards, The Grio | March 24, 2011
Black undergrads are struggling in science. It’s a myth that they don’t like the subject, or just aren’t interested.
In fact, in their freshman year of college, black and Hispanic students have the same degrees of interest in science careers as their white peers, according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
But black and Hispanic students are less likely than white and Asian students to major in or obtain a doctoral degree in science career fields, a study from the commission found.
In 2000, black students in science and engineering fields received about 35,000 bachelor’s degrees. In 2009, the number had gradually increased to about 45,000, compared to about 540,000 recipients from all races and ethnicities, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
“The real wealth generators in today’s global economy are people with technical skills. A recent report by the U.S.Labor Department suggests that over the next 10 years, the need for technical people in this country is going to grow by 50 percent,” Robin Willner, vice president of Global Community Initiatives for IBM said in the commission’s report.
Black students struggle for different reasons; some say they feel isolated in the classroom at universities, get left behind with the coursework, or don’t have a strong connection with their professors.
Jayson Stone, 22, entered University of Maryland, College Park as a computer engineering major in the fall of 2006.
“I did engineering for two years, but I kind of didn’t like it,” Stone said. “I decided I was better suited for business aspirations I also had, so I switched to economics.”
Stone was valedictorian of his Baltimore high school; he was involved on Maryland’s college campus and describes himself as an extrovert. Math was his favorite subject since he was young, but his engineering courses in his freshman year of college shocked him. (Read more)
If you don’t already know, time is a cruel mistress who demands her “pound of flesh” by yearly ripping away our youth and vitality. Among my close circle of friends, all in our mid-to-late 20s, we have each begun taking action to thwart her evil plan. The telltale signs of aging are starting to become visible for each of us, which has lead to my group of friends and myself taking up arms. I have friends who make frequent visits to the church of skin ..uh sorry..derm(atologist)’s office, as well as others planning to have different surgeries to “touch up” what time tends to “touch down,” because there is nothing like removing a 20 year “touch down” line off of your face. Even I have entered into the fray, exploring vitamins, dietary restrictions, and looking at different non-invasive procedures (i.e., I sleep in a cryostasis pod filled to the brink with the perservatives found in Twinkies and McDonald burgers). This is a war people! If you aren’t ready to fight, then be prepared to die (read: decline like a property value or a car driven off a lot)!
In just under 30 minutes President Barack Obama gave what Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry called “a mix of Just War Theory and classic University of Chicago IR-Realist Theory.” In a standard black suit, with a modified spread collar, and crimson colored tie, the former law school lecturer had the uniform that symbolized blood and war (red seems to be the favored color of pugnacious leaders). Nevertheless, the suit was quite antithetical to the words the flowed from the podium at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. For over two years, political scientists and pundits have been struggling to define what the Obama doctrine is, or if one even exists. In 3,327 words Obama made it abundantly clear that the military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, but the ultimate goal is creating a Libya that belongs to their people, not a dictator.
For Woman’s History Month we wanted to shed light on how violent this society is especially towards woman and girls. “Three Little Girls” tells the stories of the senseless murders of Christina Taylor Green (9 yrs old), killed during the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Brisenia Flores (9 yrs old), gunned down by anti-immigrant militia intent on starting a race war, and Aiyana Jones (7 yrs old), shot to death while asleep in her home, by the Detroit Police Department, while they were filming a reality TV show.
I realize these are sad stories, but how can we not be moved to action by the cold-blooded killings of innocent little girls? We have to begin to take an unflinching look at a culture that continues to glorify guns, bombs, and war and sees violence and aggression as the only solutions to its problems.
Written by Jasiri X and featuring 10 year old Hadiyah Yates, “Three Little Girls” was produced by GM3 and directed by Paradise Gray.
Association of Black Collegians Hosts Hip Hop Week March 28-April 2
Staff Writer, Layfayette, March 26, 2011
Panel considers ways to combat Broward’s black male dropout rate
Cara Fitzpatrick, Sun Sentinel, March 24, 2011
‘26 Seconds’ Campaign to Engage Youth at Risk of Dropping Out of School
Staff Writer, Hispanically Speaking, March 24, 2011
U.S. Department of Education
Kevin Jennings, Bay Windows, March 23, 2011
South Florida Schools
Rafael Olmeda, Sun Sentinel, March 23, 2011
Bill Cosby Mad At The Hypocrisy of Black Role Models – Aren’t We All?
R. Asmerom, The Atlanta Post, March 23, 2011
Problematic Motivation In Black Youth
Joseph Bailey, Black Voice News, March 23, 2011
Students question handling of racial issues
Gregg MacDonald, FairFax Times, March 22, 2011
What’s different about youth violence in California
Rina Palta, Kalw News, March 22, 2011
Youth symposium to focus of grad rates
Jason Schultz, The Palm Beach Post, March 22, 2011
“Getting To Chicago’s Boys Before Gangs Do…”
Harold Pollack, Taking Note, March 22, 2011
Segregated and Satisfied in the Southland?
Gary Orfield, Huffington Post, March 21, 2011
Separate and unequal schools pervasive in the Southland
Alison Hewitt, UCLA Newsroom, March 21, 2011
Separate and Unequal
Bob Herbert, The New York Times, March 21, 2011
Chicago Schools, Police Increase Measures To Curb Youth Violence
Staff Writer, Huffington Post, March 21, 2011
Youth Violence, Public Schools, and Public Health
Whet Moser, Chicago Mag, March 21, 2011
Youth Empowerment Convention
Ashley Kohl, Mass Appeal News, March 21, 2011
I swear I’ll stop writing about Jalen Rose and The Fab Five after this week. I promise. I did, however, want to beat this dead horse one more good time take a moment to make a request of my (s)kinfolk.
What follows is a clip of ESPN’s Chris Broussard discussing the Jalen Rose/Grant Hill issue on First Take. What I’m mostly concerned with begins around minute 1:55.
Prep course aimed at diversifying elite city schools fails to reach black and Latino students
Meredith Kolodner, NY Daily News | March 25, 2011
A city program aimed at diversifying the city’s specialized high schools is not making a lot of progress with black and Latino students, stats show.
Just 19% of black students who went through a city-funded prep course aimed at recruiting lower-income students to elite high schools were accepted, down from 21% last year. About 21% of Latino students were successful, down from 24% last year.
The overall number of black and Latino students accepted after attending the Specialized High School Institute grew – 38 black students compared with 31 last year and 39 Latino students, up from 31 last year.
Still, the pass rates for students who went through the program are better than those who didn’t. Only 5% of black students and 6% of Hispanic students who took the exam were accepted to one of the eight schools. (Read more)