Friday, February 26, 2016

Did You Get Your Students in Formation?


Hey BAE BEY BEY...BAE BEY...BEY ( I had to add another significant reference ...lol)
Now that all the dust has cleared and settled...NO...I"M NOT PART OF THE BEY HIVE...but I of course love the video. Especially If you know anything about the real PRE-KATRINA NOLA you can't help but get in your feelings some kind of way (and yes...we know she wasn't REALLY in New Orleans)! This is what confused me the most about the chaos: How many of us as teachers have had to teach from a list of "canonized" literature reeking with foul messages of hatred and racism, written by men and women who were OPENLY racists. Regardless, as teachers, rather than toss the entire piece of work aside and deem it as something too horrific for children to read or discuss, we TEACH the meanings, references and symbolism shown in a particular piece of literature.
Look! When I first viewed this video, I felt some kind of "Eve's Bayou", "Skeleton Key" or "Daughters of the Dust" energy channeling. I don't know...and I really can't explain it. It could just be the whole "Louisiana, Bayou, voodoo, black magic thing" that I loved so much about living in Pre-Katrina New Orleans. I was so entranced by the power of this ""black magic" presence conjured up by the video that I totally overlooked Beyonce serving as the conduit. I just felt the energy and frequency of a moment...that even if done for "selfish" or "capitalist" reasons, affected millions!
These are the teachable moments that we so often talk about, but miss because we get too caught up in the messenger. Shoot! It's getting so deep, I'm beginning to think that Snoop Dog just might be Jesus reincarnated. After all, he does sort of look like the black version of the white one, huh? LOL! (Don't kill me Christians)! No, but seriously, have you checked out his platform or messages lately?!!! I'm telling you! Those of us getting too caught up in the messenger is going to really miss it! It's like the walking dead out here for real..for real! You have to pay very close attention in order to unveil these real demons walking around in divinity clothing! As the wise saying goes: Everybody talking about heaven, ain't going! And everybody talking 'bout Jesus...may not really know him!
I digressed greatly, but it's all connected. This is really a message for teachers and parents whose school districts still subscribe to books, materials and lessons that fail to reflect the history or demographics of Black children. If we can justify teaching children curriculum still entrenched with racist overtones and European superiority complexes, surely we are mature enough to view a video for pure enjoyment or analysis purposes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Encouraging Students to Write history...Not Just Study It!



Do you know the name and herstory of the woman pictured speaking below? 

The sistah shown speaking here is just one of many unnamed and unsung black folks in history. Before the somewhat recent book deals, cameras, lights and interviews appeared to share her story, there traveled and gathered a group of Treme neighborhood youth, leaders and teachers from New Orleans who recognized and honored her! TEACH STUDENTS TO WRITE HISTORY...NOT JUST STUDY IT!
 mile emo
And to one of my leading teacher mentors pictured here:  Thank you Baba Jerome "Big Duck" Smith for serving as one of THE GREATS! All hail Baba Treme! 

A Lesson on the Coolness of Carlos Santana




While driving home from work the other day, my spirit and senses were moved by Tavis Smiley's Carlos Santana interview on NPR...lots of jewels dropped!
High School Lesson Plan (Music, History or Literature):
1. Youtube some Santana videos 
2.  Google and share some biographical facts about his life
3.  Listen, interpret and perform a selection 
4. Read/dramatize the following interview transcript: