Chicago’s Teacher Strike was Lukewarm at Best

About a week ago, I had initially been excited when Chicago’s downtown was aglow with a flush of red T-shirts as the district’s teachers went on strike again for the first time in 25 years. Finally, it had seemed that public education’s core issues had been launched onto the national stage. Questions pertaining to teacher evaluations and compensation, the importance of standardized tests, and the privatization of schools were now at stake as the media centered on the showdown between union president Karen Lewis and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Yet, unsurprisingly, now that tensions have abated and Chicago’s 350,000 students are back in the classrooms, I can’t help but be frustrated at the fact that this strike seemed to have amounted to nothing more than political cabaret. In the end, what has resulted are nothing more than tepid concessions that might appease teachers and the mayor, but still do very little for Chicago’s students, and most certainly do not adequately address the key issues facing education today.

This is not Washington!: An Open Letter to Rahm Emanuel

With the CTU Strike finally at an end after a nearly two week standoff, we’re left to wonder what its lasting legacy will be.

Many proponents of the strike hope that, as Union leader Karen Lewis now-famously asserted, “this Union has proven the Chicago labor movement is neither dormant nor dead.” Of course, it’s impact on a larger labor movement remains to be seen.

But as one Chicago educator’s open letter explains, the strike will at least stand as a lesson to Rahm Emanuel and anyone else that tries to use and abuse workers:

You can try; but be prepared for a fight.

Don’t Miss the Chicago International Youth Peace Movement Kickoff Concert f/ FM SUPREME!

Next Tuesday, the city of Chicago will witness the launch of The Chicago International Youth Peace Movement.

Part of a larger grassroots campaign for peace, the event will feature a concert headlined by Chicago’s very own FM Supreme, and coincide with the release of her powerful new music video, “No Turning Back.”

As a proud partner for the event, The Black Youth Project will be on hand, and we want to see each and every one of you there as well!

It all goes down September 25 at the Shrine Chicago. Doors open at 7pm; the festivities get underway at 8.

Read on for event details and ticket information:

D.L. Hughley Attacks Lupe Fiasco for Not Voting; Lupe Responds

In response to comedian D.L. Hughley’s indignation over the fact that he doesn’t vote, rapper Lupe Fiasco has issued a challenge:

Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco used Twitter to respond to comments made by comedian D.L. Hughley over Lupe’s reluctance to participate in the upcoming presidential election. He attempted to reason and explain why President Obama needs key factors bigger than the Hip Hop community to achieve re-election.


“Obama need swing states and white people not radical rappers kissing his ass to win this election..,’ he tweeted September 17th.

VIDEO: President Obama Responds to Leaked Mitt Romney Video on Letterman

President Obama responded to the leaked Mitt Romney video for the first time on David Letterman last night.

Responding to Romney’s accusations that Obama supporters think of themselves as victims and want government handouts, Obama asserted that he represents all Americans (not just 47%), and that Amercans in general do not see themselves as victims.

From the Huffington Post:

“‘There are not a lot of people out there who think they are victims’ or simply entitled, Obama said.

Chicagoan Waxes About Chief Keef and City Violence

Joshua Adams, a self-described “producer-writer-hooper-rapper-poet-artist-dreamer-lover-fighter-thinker-prayer-AΦA-man,” took to his blog to discuss his feelings about his hometown, Chicago, rapper Chief Keef, and the violence in the city:

Neighborhoods, particularly on the south side (and some in the west side) of Chicago have  erupted with youth violence. With death tolls increasing year by year, more kids have died in Chicago than US troops in Afghanistan. Seemingly every year, more and more Chicago Public School students have passed from shootings during the course of a school year (and we won’t even get into how the numbers skyrocket as soon as summer hits).

Magic Johnson Opens School in Atlanta

N.B.A. hall of famer and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson has opened an education center in downtown Atlanta to help youth who haven’t complete school or who are at risk of not finishing:

The Magic Johnson Bridgescape center helps give those who have left school, or are at risk of dropping out, the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. The program, which has just opened its doors, is free and accepts students aged 14 to 20 years old.