architect, expressionist, writer, people tell me
that’s what I am. I try to articulate my
viewpoint and express my opinion on a vast
array of subjects and topics.
try to tell the truth, be consistently and
constantly both sharp and blunt, and give it
to you “straight, no chaser.” And this
desire, to be
has gotten me into “trouble” in every way
one could imagine. A partner of mine told me
the only people with whom he’s ever seen me
exercise caution and restraint are my wife
and children. With my wife, I treat her like
Negro-Glycerin, I handle her
with hyper-vigilance and care. And with my
two kids, he’s right. I never want to
emotionally hurt them. And please note, I
grew up in a house with an
early issue Black
Princess - “shame” and “guilt” were her
primary weapons and tools of the parenting
I’ve still got her 1967 issued
national PTA membership card; she didn’t
My thought: I brought my kids into
this mean, heartless, cruel world, and thus
I’m directly responsible for them.
So, let’s get to the point: my
daughter is considering Black Colleges, and
I have the hesitation and reservations I
believe I ought to have: The social scene
will be wonderful, and she’ll be in an
environment crafted and molded for young
Black people. Everything, all aspects of
college life will feel more welcoming than
they will at a non-Black college like, name
one, any one, especially at this moment in
the American Story. The connections, the
network she’ll be able to tap into….
The academic environment, somewhat
debatable as to how strenuous it could be,
considering the GPA acceptance level. That’s
just the truth. I also consider what world
she will live in, and will it be “all
black,” a Chocolate City, because that is a
false, make-believe world she will live in
for 4 years. I’ve preached to her and her
big brother that the world is theirs.
Bethune Cookman or Jackson State or
FAMU doesn't visually, or physically look
anything like UCLA, Stanford, the University
of Colorado, ask Coach Prime, Deion Sanders.
much more important is, I will have a much
higher level of comfort
and trust, understanding
that most of her professors will be Black.
Honestly, truthfully that
assurance, beyond her personal safety, is
the most crucial element I’m weighing,
measuring, and pounding in my mind.
I’ve labored in the salt mines of
public education for 4 decades, and put two
kids through public school systems, and I
can say with all sincerity that, as is
typical for all America, roughly half the
White folks I’ve encountered, be they
teachers, coaches, administrators,
counselors, custodians, po-po placed in the
building, you name it, they couldn’t give a
damn about educating, let alone enlightening
the black masses. It’s merely a j-o-b.
Erases the student loans; it’s a short
commute to work; nobody expects me to really
educate these kids.
50%, No question. 60% yeah, in some
schools. 75%, sure I guarantee you there are
public schools which are 90% Black and 3 out
of 4 of the White staff/faculty, check it
now, they wholeheartedly disagree with Black
intellectuals and academicians in all
matters, from educating Black students, to
politics, to economics, to world issues.
smile in your face, laugh, grin, be
friendly, however, that does not make them
your kid’s friends. In my school district,
and across this divided nation, a large
alarming percentage of teachers or
administrators believe that
most, not all, but most Black kids will
either end up in jail, the cemetery, their
momma’s basement for life, or, at best,
working at Walmart.
like White society in general, maintain gutter low
for Black folks.
Of course there are fabulous White
teachers, who do a fantastic job with Black
kids. I see them every day at work. Both my
kids have had great White teachers, but I’m
sorry, in my guesstimation, those types of
teachers are the exception, not the norm.
that mainstream White America, and that is
who and what White teachers hail from, to
think that these folks have your Black
child’s “best” interest at heart is naive,
immature, reckless, and just plain old
stupid. To think that folks who voted for
Donald Trump, and hundreds of thousands of
teachers, principals, campus security,
librarians, and nurses voted for him,
legitimately want to prepare and equip your
Black child to compete with their white kids
and the overall White population for a good
job, nice home, stability, and security,
alas the elusive American Dream, and note:
in a cutthroat capitalistic society like
this one – then, my friend, you are a
a university ought to have more Liberal and
Progressive White professors among their
faculty. Nonetheless, at the end of the day,
are they going to see my baby girl as
capable, talented, determined, and valuable
as they do Karen McCaucasian? Even more
critically, will she be “innocent” and
otherwise, as Karen is, or will she continue
to be viewed in a skeptical, doubting,
demeaning manner until she proves to White
folks she’s one
of the good ones?
to prove her
and overall humanity, is the issue that is
propelling me to totally side with an HBCU,
over even an Ivy League institution of
higher learning. The notion she is guilty,
incompetent, and lacking until she proves to
these White folks who voted for Trump
Ain’t that a bitch?!
penned this last year for her speech and
debate class, and elements of it she’ll
incorporate next month when she participates
in the Forty-Ninth
annual Harvard National Forensics
in Boston as a member of her high school’s
I am a girl
I am a sister and a daughter
I am Black
I am a silhouette, only seen
against the light
I am a shadow, only viewed when the
time is right
I am judged by the melanin in my
skin, I will always be guilty until proven
otherwise, always standing off to the side.
I am comfortless, like a spirit who
can not rest
I am tired, always trying to prove
that I am no different from the rest
I am worthy, always going above and
beyond, not because I want to but because I
have to, I have to confirm that I am not the
Yes, I like school, Yes, I can
read, Yes, I understand the instructions,
No, I am not mad, No, I am not lazy, and No,
I do not want to leave.
I am fed up, why must I continue to
show that I am a human being, I am the Pluto
of the galaxy, so much controversy on if I
am a planet or not.
I am a dandelion, taking blows to
the heart every day, losing a piece of
myself as time goes on, being gunned down by
the words that come from other people, by
the states that are received from other
girls, by the glares that come from adults.
I regrow and come back, but am only viewed
as a weed, and then picked away.
But, I am Black
I am the rising star in my family
I am a strong and independent
woman, from the tiniest curl on my forehead
to the smallest freckle on my toe.
I am brave
I am intelligent
I am a girl
Look, I’ve seen the desire on the
behalf of White coaches, teachers, and
administrators to “get tough” and “break”
Black kids, “teach them a lesson,” and
“throw the book at them,” and it’s usually
under the guise of the “tough love” BS line.
Helping them by showing them how hard the
“real world” will be. Yet in my estimation
it was at times, many times, done out of
contempt, a lack of empathy, resentment,
racism, and hatred.
And, as I’ve witnessed with my
daughter, a desire to “put them in their
place” if they are confident (arrogant) and
Sorry, but most white folks working
in education aren’t in the business of
education because they yearn to be in the
business of mass-producing well-educated,
intelligent Black people.
district I work in is mass-producing Black
students, many, if not the majority, who do
ultimately graduate. They possess worthless
degrees which equate to reading, writing,
and doing arithmetic at a 9th-grade level.
And the system is “ok” with that. Once more,
gutter low expectations.
If, as a Black parent, you don’t
act as a helicopter parent, good luck to you
and your child.
Coworkers, you know I Ain’t lying.
tell me if I’m wrong, but there’s really no
debate about it: Black people are treated differently by White folks,
from emergency room doctors, home
appraisers, loan officers, waitresses,
policemen, and firemen. So why would Black
folks expect anything different from White
folks working in the field of education?
The greatest miscalculation Black
folks have made: is placing our children’s
education in the hands of White folks. I
won’t do that again.