Poetry in Spaces of Recovery

  I love the photo above because you can’t tell which hand is mine. Just like if I was standing together with these women in the Magdalene house, a safe place for women recovering from addiction and a life in the sex trade, (whether being trafficked or deploying their labor in instances of survival sex), Read more about Poetry in Spaces of Recovery[…]

5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #5.The Writing Classroom is Uniquely Suited for Finding Undiscovered Gems

In part four of this series – “Our Classrooms Benefit from the Voices of our Most Marginalized Students” — I discussed (partly) how valuable the “marginalized voices” are in our classrooms. But really, I was speaking to the notion that the “marginalized” is the majority. I encourage you to check it out, especially in the Read more about 5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #5.The Writing Classroom is Uniquely Suited for Finding Undiscovered Gems[…]

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 discussing a student who doesn’t Read more about 5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #4. Our Classrooms Benefit from the Voices of our Most Marginalized Students[…]

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 Classroom,” can be summed up Read more about 5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #3.The Students Are Co-Creators in the Classroom[…]

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 a portion of my interactive Read more about 5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #2.The Students Are Not Empty Vessels[…]

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 English is not proof of Read more about 5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #1. Writing & Speaking in Standard English is Not Proof of Intellect[…]

The TOP 5 Ways Faculty Can Support Student Activists

You want to jump up and shout because the students on your campus or the individuals in your community are calling out structural bias and even protesting, organizing, and making real headway against it.   Or you’re wondering what the hell is going on. Either way the young people need to be supported. Here are Read more about The TOP 5 Ways Faculty Can Support Student Activists[…]

Where Are the Brave White Teachers?

This is a picture of my neighbor’s front yard. I’ve watched his yard decorations go from an empty flagpole, to a Confederate and U. S. flag accompanied by a lawn jockey, to the addition of Trump political signs, and then the addition of a Trump mailbox cover, to what you’re seeing now: which is all Read more about Where Are the Brave White Teachers?[…]

The Feminine Pronoun Series #23: These Are the Times That Try Women’s Souls

In this week’s vlog I watched the democratic convention and spent time with the Hurston Hughes Scholars. HHS is a self organized group of black parents and teachers who read black literature and invite guests like me and fellow poet Cheeraz Gormon to share our work with them. Coincidentally, I was in the presence of Read more about The Feminine Pronoun Series #23: These Are the Times That Try Women’s Souls[…]

Here’s Why Anger is the Ultimate Glow Up. Oh, and #StrikeForBlackLives

One of my favorite podcasts is Another Round, featuring a writer for Buzzfeed, Tracy Clayton and a writer for the Stephen Colbert Show, Heben Nigatu. The show features guests of color talking about a wide range of subjects, but with a keen eye on culture. One part drunken conversation and one part reportage, Another Round Read more about Here’s Why Anger is the Ultimate Glow Up. Oh, and #StrikeForBlackLives[…]