5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #4. Our Classrooms Benefit from the Voices of our Most Marginalized Students

  In last week’s blog, “The Students are Co-Creators In the Classroom,”  I emphasized how important envisioning a future past the classroom for poor students and students of color is. But often times, when educators and activists discuss “poor students and students of color,” it is as if we are …

The Feminine Pronoun Series No. 32: #WRITERSRESIST

All over the country, writers assembled in vocal resistance to the rhetoric and planned policies of the incoming Trump administration. The movement was named #WRITERSRESIST. (You can find out more about #WRITERSRESIST here.

In this video, my kids and I I travel to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi (my home state) all the way from the St. Louis metro area to read poetry and hold space for justice.

What transpired was magical and served to embolden everyone involved. Enjoy!

 

Here's a bit more about my business:

I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with trustworthy diversity and inclusion facilitation. Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.

Also, Let's partner to bring an incredible, interactive and informative presentation to your group for Black History Month.

View this whole series HERE.

5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #3.The Students Are Co-Creators in the Classroom

In the last entry in this series, “Students Are Not Empty Vessels,” the general point could be summed up as “the students have a past.” A past that can be unpacked and surveyed for what is usable and valuable in the classroom. This week’s blog, “The Students are Co-creators in the …

The Feminine Pronoun Series No. 31: New Year. New You.

In this video I get a super cute (if I do say so myself:) updated do at Salon Satreice and then I work on an upcoming performance with Rodney Smith, owner of the Palomino Lounge. 2017 is starting off looking AND sounding good!

Here's a bit more about my business:

I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with trustworthy diversity and inclusion facilitation. Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.

Also, Let's partner to bring an incredible, interactive and informative presentation to your group for Black History Month

5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #2.The Students Are Not Empty Vessels

One of my favorite photos of Fannie Lou Hamer is one of her in front of a mass meeting teaching freedom songs. Mrs. Hamer came from a spiritual tradition that included countless songs. Some of them can be heard on the album Songs My Mother Taught Me, and I often devote …

The Feminine Pronoun Series: Poetry. Pedagogy. Justice. (No. 30)

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The tagline on my website for Feminine Pronoun Consultants, LLC is "Poetry. Pedagogy. Justice."

Those three powerful terms almost encompass my life/work philosophy. I say "almost" because Parenting is also a major part of my life's work, as it were, and each of the terms inform each other and take turns being the star, while others play the background.

Check this video out as a kind of year end round up and hopeful nod to a successful 2017!

5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #1. Writing & Speaking in Standard English is Not Proof of Intellect

At a recent presentation, I talked about five lessons teachers could take from the life of Fannie Lou Hamer. In response to my assertion that the ability to speak or write in Standard English was not an indication of intellect, an audience member said the following: “Speaking and writing in standard …

The Feminine Pronoun Series No. 29: Old School #HipHop

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I come to writing very honestly. Not only was my mother (rest in peace) a writer, but my father is a well-known poet and is currently poet laureate of his home town of East St. Louis, Illinois.

The first time my writing truly became public was in the 1990s as a signed hip-hop artist to MC Hammer's label, Bust It Records. My group, originally named the Sonic MC's, was discovered by MC Hammer in our hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. What followed was a brief career as a performing rap artist, and staff writer for acts such B. Angie B., Special Generation, and Oaktown's 357. That was 25 years ago, and I still have a deep and abiding love for hip-hop culture and the music in general.

A few months ago, my former partner, Terrence Davis, invited me to participate in a reunion performance. I tentatively accepted, and then tried to back out, because, for me, that time, brief as it was, doesn't always inspired the most positive feelings.

Like many naïve artists, our recording contract was a one-sided at best and a glorified sharecropper's agreement at worst. If people remember the infamy with which MC Hammer's business dealings tumbled from the top of the pop cultural mountain, then you might guess that there were some work culture issues in the company as well. Namely, a rampant sexism that, when I think back on it, I am surprised there weren't more lawsuits. On top of that, I did not have the most pleasurable recording experience, as we were encouraged to produce music that had a sound very similar to MC Hammer's.

My biggest objection however, was that the music simply didn't do well by industry standards. When the collective mind of hip-hop music lovers returns back to artists who made a impact with regard to innovation, popularity, and cultural zeitgeist, our music does not register.

As you can see, I had several reasons to refuse to participate in the reunion performance, but after some cajoling and realizing that I had tried to back out much too late for it to be fair, I agreed to join everyone of my former group members of the group that was subsequently renamed One Cause One Effect.

This vlog chronicles events directly proceeding, during, and after what turned out to be a fun and heartwarming gathering.

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I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with trustworthy diversity and inclusion facilitation.  Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.  Also, there is bonus video of me reading "For Trayvon #BlackLivesMatter" at the Old School #HipHop concert here: https://youtu.be/GXYLEcrJ-KY

 

 

Feminine Pronoun Series No. 28: It’s Been Happening Since Ancient Greece

About this episode: Living in the aftermath of the Ferguson rebellion means that there is almost a never ending barrage of well-meaning attempts to “reconcile the community and the police.” When I heard of a New York production’s staged reading that was titled “Antigone and Ferguson,” (being performed in ferguson) …

The Feminine Pronoun Series N. 27: Teachers Will Save the World

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I work with perceptive school leaders who want their teachers to understand Diversity and Inclusion & seek the confidence and classroom results that knowledge produces.

I was invited to talk with the dynamic faculty at the Times2 STEM Academy in Providence, Rhode Island. My presentation was followed by a fantastic walk through the evolving Federal Hill neighborhood. I was treated to the warmth of the Dominican and Puerto Rican majority community and I got to see what excellent school leadership (that respects the community) looks like up close. Go Dr. Carrie McWilliams!

Check out the video here: