Outrage: Martin Had a Dream
Today, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination by memorializing his work and his life. But is this country truly honoring his legacy?
Check this out, from a speech he made in 1964 to the New York City teachers union:
With the ending of slavery and the emergence of quasi freedom, Negroes were only partially educated—sufficient to make their work efficient but insufficient to raise them to equality.
Sixty four years later, has anything really changed?
Students in Detroit had to sue the state of Michigan because they felt their fundamental right to literacy was being violated.
Garris Stroud, a teacher in Kentucky, had to recently put White moderates on blast for making half-assed efforts to support equal and equitable education for all students.
These days, all I see is education being swept under the rug as if it wasn’t a civil right at all.
Fortunately I draw inspiration from advocates like Mendell Grinter and the Campaign for School Equity in Memphis, who just released a book on Dr. King’s legacy for education that acknowledges the progress but also recognizes that the dream hasn’t come to fruition.
I of course always look to Howard Fuller, who this week is urging teachers to fight for their poor Black students outside of the classroom as much as they do inside the school walls.
But, here we are. We may have given access to schools, but are our kids really being educated? In the words of Rosa Parks, I would say “Nah.”
So if America really wants to honor MLK, make his dreams come true. Otherwise, stop frontin’.
Hope: Linda’s Shoulders
Michele Norris was absolutely right, generations stand on the shoulders of Linda Brown.
Thank you Linda Brown. Generations stand on your shoulders. Rest in Power https://t.co/kp8VXSMiVY
— Michele Norris (@michele_norris) March 27, 2018
Linda Brown may not have known it at the time, but she was a pioneer in the battle to give Black kids and families school choice. And she paved the way for young people and women to have a voice in education.
In her recent passing, I think about the women she’s set an example for. Women like me and others across the country who didn’t necessarily set out to be heroes but only wanted to see their kids and other kids get a quality education. I think about the women of One Voice Blog Magazine.
Bernita Bradley, Vivett Dukes, Dia L. Jones, Kerry-Ann Reyes, Gwen Samuel, Dr. Kelli Seaton and Vesia Hawkins are all women that I think you should know and follow. They created One Voice Magazine because they wanted Black women to have a space to share their stories, ideas and struggles in education.
Not only are they fearless and unrelenting in their pursuits, they are a reflection of what we all should be—strong advocates for the generations to come. Just like Linda Brown.