Category Archives: Education

Philly Hosts 17th Annual ‘White Privilege Conference’…What Happens There?

Heather Hackman
Heather Hackman

*Are you as shocked as I am that there is an actual CONFERENCE on white privilege? Well here’s another shocker, this latest one was their 17th annual.

Yes. The WPC has been happening for 17 years, and it is a 2-day event which, this year, occurred April 15-17 in the City of Brotherly Love aka Philadelphia.

As the Johnny Guitar Watson song sings, ain’t that a bitch?

Now the question remains, what the hell goes down at this conference? What’s on the agenda? Are their vendors? What are they selling?

My mind is spinning with all kinds of curiosity. But alas, here are some answers.

One of the events at WPC was a workshop conducted by an educator. It was called: “No Freedom Unless We Call Out the Wizard Behind The Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education and Professional Development.”

OK. They’ve certainly got my attention.

Heather Hackman from Hackman Consulting Group taught the class, where she worked to impress upon teachers how modern education is hopelessly tainted by white supremacy and the “white imperial gaze,” and the solution is to train prospective teachers in college to be activists as well as pedagogues.

Hackman reportedly went so far as to tell the workshop attendees that if they were not seriously promoting social justice in the classroom, they may as well stop teaching.

I’m kinda liking this woman. Continue reading

Millions…(And I Do Mean Millions) Given to Oakland by Anonymous Donor!

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*Talk about giving quietly. Whew! This donor, who plopped down a check for $34 million dollars to assist entrepreneurs, a school district, nonprofit organizations and more in Oakland, California has taken being humble to a whole new level.

To give so generously, without the need to be recognized or even thanked, leaves me tongue-tied.

But it happened. Quietly.

The donor is said to have wanted to assist low income entrepreneurs and children. And according to KGO-TV News, the anonymous donor gave the money to the San Francisco Foundation, and the donation was split between 17 organizations. The donor was very specific. According to Fred Blackwell, the spokesperson for the San Francisco Foundation, the donor was very clear about wanting to invest in Oakland. “They said they want it to go to Oakland. They want it to be transformative.”

And it definitely will! Continue reading

Badly Bred Students Who Defaced Clemson Banner Won’t Face Charges

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*How do you charge plain ass bad breeding? I mean, what would the write-up even look like? That’s the question I come up with after hearing about a group of students, no doubt Caucasian, who thought it was funny to deface an African-American banner on the campus of Clemson University by hanging a bunch of rotting bananas on it.

A photo of the banner was tweeted and shared on social media by a number of Clemson students Monday morning.

Today the university said that since it is not considered a crime to hang rotting fruit on a banner, no charges will be filed against the students; who are said to have turned themselves in.

On Tuesday, dozens of students attended a meeting where they discussed their concerns with faculty regarding the incident. 

Clemson University’s police chief told students at the meeting that according to the solicitor’s office, defacing the banner is not a violation of state law and that no crime was committed under state law.  Continue reading

Black Female “Human Computers” Were Crucial to NASA’s Space Exploration Program

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*We ALL know that the public educational system in the United States has been woefully deficient in including the contributions of African Americans. I still remember the moment when I, as a 2nd grader, pieced together than the black American revolutionist Chrispus Attucks fought in the same Revolutionary War that included Paul Revere and the rest of the white folks in powdered wigs and stockings. I like to tell myself that things have changed since then, and they HAVE, but when you stumble across a largely untold, unknown story like this, you have to wonder “how much?”.

A group of black, female college-educated mathematicians and chemists worked for NASA beginning in the 1940s, and helped land John Glenn and his colleagues on the moon.

Yes, they did!

97-year-old retired African American NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson was one of them. She was one of dozens of “human computers” who were hired by NASA Langley Memorial Research Laboratory in the 1940s.

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They were called “human computers” because before machines were designed, built, and perfected, these pioneering women crunched the numbers necessary to figure out everything from wind tunnel resistance to rocket trajectories to safe reentry angles..

If you’re like me, just reading those terms almost gives you a headache. Continue reading

Black Student Being Hit By Teacher Caught on Camera, She’s Been Arrested!

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*Oh hell no! We know high school kids can be a challenge sometimes. So what’s an educator to do? Well let’s start with what you DON’T do.

Hit the student.

A video has surfaced showing 63-year-old Mary Hastings slapping the crap out of one of her students as he sits at his desk in class. The teacher can be overheard in the 12-second video saying something to the effect of, “Because you’re stopping him from graduating you idiot!,” as the poor kid ducks his head and attempts to protect himself with his hands asked, “Why you did that?”

And she stands there and mocks him by repeating his question using a baby voice. Continue reading

Mine is No ‘Immigrant Story’ – Says HS Student Accepted at All Eight Ivies (Watch)

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*When Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna of Elmont Memorial High School was told by her Guidance Counselor to go and check her Applicant Portal, she probably didn’t expect to see all that she did. One after another the high school senior who carries a 101.64 weighted GPA found she had been accepted into the freshman class at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Not to mention additional invitations to attend Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Uwamanzu-Nna, whose parents hail from Nigeria, spoke in front of officials at Sewanhaka Central High School District and in addition to admitting how “humbled” she is, said media requests have been “consuming my life” since the news of her success was revealed by her school district.

Augusta, who said she was at a badminton game celebrating “Ivy Day” when she learned about her win, admitted to NBC News, “I was really anxious. I looked at each update for each school in ABC order and saw each acceptance after another. I was screaming and crying and started running around the gym.” Continue reading

Tenured Professor at Alabama A&M Fired Over Sex Tape Discovery

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*I guess we can file this under karmic retribution, or perhaps the Shakespearean saying, “Thou doth protest too much.” After Edward Jones, a tenured professor of 20 years at Alabama A&M University, filed a lawsuit against the school with the intention of bringing certain administrative concerns to light; and the school, in turn, started termination proceedings against him, an irrefutable sex tape of Jones was stumbled upon in the process.

Oops!

If we were keeping score, this would definitely be one for the university!

The tape, found on a university-owned laptop at Jones’ home, showed Jones in three sex acts, twice showing the professor having oral sex with two different male students. All three instances occurred on the Alabama A&M campus, the school said.

Jones’ lawsuit had claimed years of harrassment by the school after he attempted to reveal the administrative issues.

Jones’ attorney, Lee Loder,  is probably trying to wrap his head around this new revelation because he is mum beyond his clients actual lawsuit, thus far. Continue reading

Demystifying the Whole Colonoscopy Thing: Writer MPC Shares ‘His’ Story

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*I know what you’re thinking. I swear I do. “Michael, we do NOT know each other well enough for you to be telling me about you getting a probe stuck up your…” well, you know what you’re thinking.  But I think you’re wrong. I DO know you well enough to know one word that you’re uncomfortable with — if not downright scared of:

Cancer. Unless we’re talking astrology, it’s a word none of us wants to hear. I heard it recently, preceded by the word “colon.” It was the diagnosis that my brother-in-law recently received.

After hearing about his colon cancer diagnosis and recovering from the news, I did a little research. As it turns out, I (as an African American man) am up to 43% more likely to die from colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, than my white brother-in-law. His doctor found several cancerous growths in his colon, but since they were found early, they were removed and after chemotherapy and radiation, he’s now cancer-free and on the mend.

Now, back to me: I’m 43% more likely to die of colon cancer than a white man. I never was too crazy about math, but I really hated THAT figure.

I shared my fears and concerns with my doctor, and learned that a colonoscopy was the best screener for the types of polyps that can become cancerous. That test led to my brother-in-law’s diagnosis, and I was terrified to have it myself. During a colonoscopy, a probe with a camera on it is inserted in your rectum and snaked through your lower intestine (or colon). The procedure lasts about 30 minutes.

IMG_3863 Continue reading