This past weekend I had the honor and the pleasure of being a part of a Black Heritage event at my university. In lieu of bringing one artist of large notoriety, the school chose to make the event a celebration of several South Side Chicago artists and consequently the artistry in the community. It was a wonderful event giving proof that universities can not only share geographical space but a more personal communication. The event gave me a feeling reminiscent of the satisfaction I had in being apart of the MLK Celebration with keynote speaker Geoffrey Canada, which was another commingling of South Siders university and non university members alike. My only concern is the motivation of those involved in the events; where is the pride outside of momentous occasions or designated periods of homage?
A 8th grader’s incendiary essay comparing today’s education system to slavery is causing a firestorm of controversy in her upstate New York community.
13 year-old Jada Williams,writing an essay on Frederick Douglass for a contest, made the very astute analysis that packing 30-40 students into a crowded classroom, and having mostly white teachers give them packets and pamphlets to complete that they don’t fully comprehend, impedes the learning process; and that this produces results similar to those hoped for by a slave master that forbids his slaves from learning how to read at all.
Jada’s point is that nothing has really changed since the days of Frederick Douglass; “the same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the white man.”
According to a recent study released by The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group for juvenile sentencing reform, Black males are grossly overrepresented among juveniles that are sentenced to life without parole in the United States.