On May 17, 1954, exactly 60 years ago today, 5 legal cases related to school segregation, one of which was student led, made it to the Supreme Court where each case was merged together as one major milestone case known today as the Brown vs Board of Education. The Supreme Court ruled that in the field of education the “separate but equal” doctrine has no place and by law blacks as well as other races will be treated equally in the school system. That means no matter how superior a race may feel, they cannot treat black children as if they do not deserve an excellent education. In fact, racial and social residential zoning is a great contributor to school segregation and the inequities in education. Both Baltimore City and County are guilty in the past of intentional segregation in the residential, commercial, and educational industries.
2. “Brown” in Baltimore: School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism
Author: Howell S Baum
On a positive note, if it wasn’t for the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, I would not have been able to attend Western High School, which is an all girl city-wide college preparatory school in Baltimore City. Furthermore, the Brown vs. Board of education law initiated the concept of Baltimore city-wide high schools which allow students from all areas of the city to attend an academically challenging school no matter the race, social group, residential zone, or income level according to their standardized test scores. This was a result of the diligent advocacy that the NAACP, community leaders, and local citizens did for underrepresented racial groups. Another great result of the Brown vs Board of Education case is that magnet schools were created so that students from diverse racial and social economic backgrounds would be able to enjoy both the reasonable and technological resources that would impact all students’ education and their future economic success. That is why I was able to teach a diverse group of students at the magnet school, George Washington Carver Center for the Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland. So today, I celebrate the Brown vs. Board of Education case!
I, also, stand as an advocate for equality in education for black students because I know the total truth and justice is the missing link in our education system. Therefore, I would like for my black community to be respected by teachers, principals, the local boards of education, politicians, and community members. Human respect in the education field should be reflected by means of investment of time, money, and commitment to build, renovate, and provide the assets that are needed to ensure black students as well as black teachers are globally competitive. We need more unity between all races in order to uplift our black community. You have to believe in black student’s greatness with a collective conscious to paint a new portrait of what diversity looks like. As a black citizen, I do not totally enjoy life, feel safe, or feel content with how my black community is being treated; not when black family units are being broken strategically by corrupt organizations that govern our education and justice systems.
Furthermore, do we observe the African principles of Ma’at: Truth, Justice, Harmony, Balance, Order, Reciprocity, and Propriety toward the black community? Ma’at African Consciousness and Principles were taught in mystery schools during ancient times and was destroyed due to centuries of greed and colonization. So we must reclaim our dignity and legacy with practicing Ma’at in our everyday lives. In fact, these principles of Ma’at were actually taught by our African ancestors and that is why our ancient civilizations naturally flourished. Life wasn’t about mind control, it was about cultivating and freeing the mind in order to design a new way of thought inspired by universal wisdom. In fact, I shared some innovative 21st century teaching strategies in my blog that was posted in February to further express the African centered approaches that are effective for diverse learners.
Moreover, human respect and equality means people of other races understand that: Black people are not less than you. Black people are brilliant. Black people are leaders and when they are supported, they can take you places you did not know existed. We, the black race, are creatively entertaining and loyal friends, but we must be respected. As for the education system, just because some of your black students may not pass standardized tests, does not mean they cannot test your knowledge or perform academically. Thus, black children should not to be judged as failures or incompetent. Additionally, we black professionals, should not have to brown nose to be respected or recognized for our hard work. We, the black people, should not have to remind you that we are just as valuable as you are. Furthermore, we the black race, should not have to speak loudly in order to be heard or speak aggressively for our well-being to be considered. We, the black people, should not have to act like clowns in order to be noticed or in order for the media to showcase our culture. We, the black people, should not have to be quiet or docile in order for others to feel comfortable or feel more like a leader. People in power do not have the right to direct and control black people’s lives. Most importantly, we the black people, should not have to act like you to be accepted by you. We, the African race, were uniquely made to help civilize this world, but if the world continues to treat us like we do not any have rights, the world will continue to be uncivilized and destructive. So let’s increase the peace and love black people because love will conquer every battle you fight against us. Now that’s the solution! Change your mind and open up your hearts in order to have a peaceful and an economically sound future!
So I believe there are four ways we can work as a community to increase the academic performance for African American students:
1. Promote that ancient African history is World’s History. There are many African American students and adults that are unaware of their rich history that was full of powerful leadership as well as thriving communities organized by black kings and queens of civilization in the Nile Valley. In fact, there are so many facts about history that I do not know about my African ancestry because I was not educated about the true legacy of my lost culture. However, I made an effort this year to intensely research about the royal dynasties that my ancestors led and it gave me immense pride to pursue my dreams as an entrepreneur knowing my ancestors were more than just slaves that is excessively promoted in the education system and the media. Thus, if African American children’s rich culture is reintroduced to them through the education system and at home, this will provide them with self-awareness, self-pride, and eventually self-actualization toward their personal and professional goals. As a result of applying the 21st century skill of “Global Awareness” in the classroom, African American students who may live in low income areas could be indoctrinated with their rich culture influencing them to feel rich inside with an “affluent academic” motivation to succeed. This will promote confidence intrinsically and will definitely cause them to positively perform at higher levels mentally as well as emotionally.
Suggested Readings: (Thanks for sharing Rickey Moore, Sr.)
– Black Women in Antiquity – Edited by: Ivan Van Sertima
– Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization – Author: Anthony T. Browder
2. Provide more diversity workshops for non-African American teachers in order to be trained on the creative emotional and social support that is necessary for a “child of color” to excel. Trained teachers can learn the art of personalized instruction in order to meet the needs of the diverse mind-set of the African American child. Linear instruction does not work for most African American students so perhaps a universal approach to learning can be adopted so that non-African American teachers can learn how to increase the academic performance of their students and develop a positive relationship with African American students.
Suggested Book: Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys
Author: Jawanza Kunjufu (Thanks for sharing, Nia Johnson)
1. Booker T. Coleman – The Curriculum of Correction
2. Great Kings and Queens of Africa – Presented by Anheuser Busch Corp.
3. Integrate African pedagogy with the Common Core Curriculum by infusing the 7 Liberal Arts, which are Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy. This will encourage our African American students to explore their thoughts outside of the classroom toward real-world concepts and discover the unknown. Research and Information Technology will be the key to success for African American students because once they learn aspects of their history, they will be driven to make history. Once you have a motivated African American child, be prepared to witness some record breaking achievements!
Suggested Video: Dr. Booker T Coleman- Educating Our Youth for the 21st century
Suggested Book: What They Never Told You In Black History Class
Author: Indus Khamit Kush
4. Parental Involvement which will reflect a supportive community and revisiting the ancient African cultural principles. Yes, “it takes a village to raise a child”, but if the village is occupied with self-destruction and selfish behavior, then our African American children will fail. If African American parents spend more time at sporting events cheering their children on, but do not have the patience to work on their children academic progress at home in the same intense manner, then our African American children will fail. If African American parents spend more time watching reality television or creating their own reality television on the social networks, then our African American children will fail. African American parents we have to find balance between our identities as well as helping our children discover their true identity, and then consequently the African American village will win! As parents and family members, we are all guilty of being off balance every now and then, but if we commit ourselves to our children’s empowerment, this world will be a more progressive place.
– Handbook for Raising Black Children A Comprehensive Holistic Guide
Author: Llaila Olela Afrika
– The Covenant with Black America – Various Authors, along with Tavis Smiley
We all have to admit that for centuries the education system has controlled the way we think and shaped our views about human relations. Through the education system, the government was able to design our social and economic order and status. It has created this world that look at the African American race as a threat to society.
Lastly, I am consciously concerned about how the world is treating Africans, Africa, and African Americans — like we are not worth the wealth that is inside of us. So, today, May 17, 2014, I will conclude that we, as a nation, need to update our status, change the content in our news feed, tweet and defeat the racial and social injustice, and instagram a transparent picture to encourage others to be colorblind because we are one nation, one people, and we all deserve to be linked in this social global network.