GOOD


Growing up, I never had a good sense of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. In elementary school, I thought of him as a secular saint, a monument in history who dreamed of people of all colors holding hands around a globe.

Indeed, the "I have a dream" soundbite is the most common version of Dr. King taught in school and pushed through media coverage leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. Although my after school program at the Boys Club on Manhattan's Lower East Side had a viewing of the documentary Eyes on the Prize, which made Dr. King a more real person, he still felt distant, as if the events in his life were more scripted than lived. Because such a caricature puts perfection in front of process, the Dr. King "sainthood" message puts the work for social justice at a disadvantage.

Only in college did Dr. King's life become real to me. His part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, his leadership for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his sacrifices and arrests when forcing himself into segregated places, and his fiery oratory when speaking out against poverty, war, and racial justice are large parts of his astounding and well-celebrated legacy. I also learned about the rarely-taught, less luminous aspects of his history.

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Chris Christie's Wagging Finger Proves Alignment of Teachers' and Womens' Rights

The facts are clear: 85 percent of K-12 teachers are women and 80 percent of our government officials are men.

I'd like to dedicate some time to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's othering of a teacher this past weekend at one of his political rallies. Most of the coverage around this event has centered on the tenor politicians have set in their quest to reform education. As Christie wags a finger at the woman, teacher Melissa Tomlinson, the crowd cheers, signaling a societal acknowledgment that politicians can lay waste to any courtesy towards anyone, and that democracy is overrated. Surely, dissenters get jeers at any rally, but this particular type of jeer further solidified the idea that teachers' rights are aligned with women's rights.

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Newsflash to Congress: You Shut Down the Government, But You Haven't Been Working Anyway

This country's vision is seriously flawed for effective government when the least of us have a better work ethic than our representatives.

When I woke up on Monday morning, I felt no different from the day before. The lights came on, the water ran for the shower, the locks didn't loosen, and the sun took its sweet time rising past the upper Harlem skyline my window frames for us. When NBC News reported on the 25th hour government shutdown, I felt hard-pressed to feel anything but increased disappointment in a system that continues to push average people further to the edges of our so-called American Dream.

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10 Things Every Adult Should Do After The Trayvon Martin Tragedy

Here are some things anyone can do to help our students do better both academically and socio-emotionally


Although I've written about the Trayvon Martin case extensively (see here, here, and here) by no means do I consider myself the sole expert on boys of color. I teach them, and I used to be one before I became a man of color. Yet, the things I knew as a former boy of color haven't changed much. We need change.

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, here are some things anyone (specifically adults) can do to help our students do better both academically and socio-emotionally:

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The Fate of Women is Tied to Teachers, Are We Hearing Their Voices?

It's not that men can't contribute their voices to the education conversation, but perhaps women should be the ones we're listening to.


Earlier this month I headed to the Aspen Ideas Festival and while I have tons of stories I could share, I keep coming back to this one.

After former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, U.S. diplomat Richard Haass, and Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy went at it onstage (verbally), everyone started to clutter around their favorite. While I didn't see too many people around Haass, the room was evenly divided between Albright and Eltahawy. After her vagina monologue, I jumped onto the Eltahawy line.

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An Open Letter From The Trenches: To Education Activists, Friends, and Haters

Education activists have to recognize that anger is a primary means to an end, not the end itself.


To my fellow education activists:

I've come across a few things that concern me and others in the last few months, and we got some shit to talk about.

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