Tag Archives: slavery

Wisconsin School in Hot Water Following ‘Slavery’ Homework Assignment

*A Wisconsin school has apologized for giving students an “insensitive” homework assignment that asked fourth grade students to “List three good reasons for slavery, and three bad ones.”

The parent of a Black student took issue with the assignment; and placed it on Facebook, calling it offensive.

It was then that Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa drew up a statement addressing the incident and agreeing that the assignment was indeed “offensive.”

The statement read, “Our Redeemer regrets deeply an unjustifiable assignment on slavery earlier this week,” Principal Jim Van Dellen said in a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday. The statement went on to say that the church and school “work hard to promote the human dignity of all people, and this assignment did not reflect our core values or practices.”

The parent who brought the issue to the forefront is Trameka Brown-Berry, and the reason the school gave her for issuing the assignment could actually make sense if it wasn’t so downright insensitive.

Brown-Berry said the school wanted children to think about why white people thought it was a good idea at one time to own slaves.

Now here is where you will get mad at me! Continue reading

Powerful ‘Wake: The Afterlife of Slavery’ Exhibit at Glendale’s Downtown Central Library (Photos)

*If you live in southern California or plan to visit soon, run, don’t walk to the amazing new library in Glendale, California on any given day. But be sure to do so between now and November 5, when you can experience the incredible exhibit, Wake: The Afterlife of Slavery.

As a former longtime resident of the city, a lot of my writing took place at the Downtown Central Library. I would spend hours working there in the quiet rooms; sometimes on their computers, other times on my own laptop.

Although I had moved away and only visited on occasion, I was sad (and inconvenienced) when I would attempt to visit Glendale and learned the library was closed for remodeling.

But oh my god when they reopened, I could not believe my eyes. I had never seen such a beautiful and spacious library. It had new entrances, rooms designed for special activities for both adults and children such as ReflectSpace–where the ‘Wake’ Exhibit is currently taking place.

And even more surprising is the great representation of African Americans and Africans in the main library of this historically Armenian-favored community.

It took two visits to witness the totality of it all, and truthfully, there is still much more to see. But I think it was the huge image of a Toni Morrison quote on one of the library walls as I walked by that caused me to double back and say…

What the…?

I couldn’t believe my eyes. It wasn’t tucked away somewhere, it was out loud, a huge blow up of her quote in the hallway of the general area. I hadn’t even realized there was an entire Exhibit on slavery, with original typewritten letters to and from W.E.B. Dubois and others, Western Union correspondence, slave Manifests, — all put together by former L.A. Times photojournalist Clarence Williams and L. A. artist Nicola Goode, in a room on the other side of the library. Continue reading

Watch: ‘Woke White People’ Carry A Heavy Burden (Man Speaks of His Personal Embarrassment)

*I must admit, as a self-proclaimed deep thinker, I often wonder is there anything at all woke white people can do to help heal all the damage of their forefathers. Anything that may would be appreciated, at least, and not labeled “suspect.” As someone who has traveled, broke bread with people of just about every culture and religion, and hold dear friends of the same, my heart goes out to the many who continue to carry burdens placed on them, in spite of their beliefs against it. I have this tendency to personalize everything. Its my own strategy when I am attempting to understand something, or empathize with something; whether I am in agreement with it or not because dang, if I only paid attention to things I agree with, I’d still be  as shallow as I was in my youth.

But I do find myself getting frustrated when I suffer because of someone else’s crap; say, now no one is able to have access to something because one fool f**ked it up for us all! 

You may have seen the video below already, but I swear, some things bear repeating — if for no other reason than to serve as a reminder that not all white folk is ignorant, racist and prejudiced.

In this 2012 YouTube video, viewed 55K times, one woke person of the Caucasian persuasion decides to voice his frustration on the topic saying, “America will suffer because of what we did to Black people…and so much more.Continue reading