My father was a hard-ass, a Southern version of the Red Forman-type made popular in That 70’s Show. I grew up, then, in a “no excuses” environment rooted in the 1950s work ethic my father personified.  Mine was a working-class background: My paternal grandfather (for whom I was named) ran the small-town gas station […]
In an excerpt from Take this Hammer (1963), James Baldwin speaks pointedly and thoughtfully about “Who is the Nigger?” In this explication of the racial slur now rendered taboo, Baldwin explains: “What you say about somebody else, anybody else, reveals you.” His examination asks his listeners to turn the racism and demonizing of people positioned […]
The hope we see is in students themselves as they step up to the forefront to fight for the vision of Dubois, not the criminality and shilling of Sharpton and Booker T. Washington politics of containment of surrender. Many stalwart organizers like Detroit students, DC students, and others see the prevarication and the low-expectation message of Race to the Top inscription on the tomb stones of their futures.
But the teacher’s initial fear is giving way to something else. They are calling in sick in Miami-Dade. Their student allies are walking out of classrooms and into the streets in protest. Their parent allies have conducted a hunger strike and marched up and down the state on their behalf.
The students of Frederick Douglass Academy have been, and are the leaders of Detroit. We are now in the middle of the most important fight of our lives. This is the fight for our city. This is the fight for Public Education. Bobb knows and understands that the strongest leaders opposing his plan are in Frederick Douglass Academy, so he has brought the fight to our school. If he breaks our school, he thinks that he can break the rest of DPS. History has put us in the position to truly be the future of Detroit.