Urban Educator in the City!

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This is a presentation that I have presented to various educators in regards to educating students.


Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial.

I cried for a little black boy who felt the world didn’t understand him.

I cried for a little black boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood.

boy on basketball

And I thought about all the young black boys out there who may feel that the world doesn’t understand them.

The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans, their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the chip on their shoulder.

I worry that my son, may too, one day feel lonely in a wide, wide world.

I cried for young children of all colors who may live their life feeling like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their soul.

What a burden to carry.

As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should ever bury a child.


And I think about all the pain, tears and sleepless nights that she must have endured seeing her baby boy in inner pain, seeing him struggle with his self-esteem, and his insecurities and to know that he often felt unloved.

Even while the world loved him deeply.

 How does it feel to think that the unconditional love we give as mothers just isn’t enough to make our children feel whole?

I wonder if she still suffers thinking, “What more could I have done?” Even Moms of music legends aren’t immune to Mommy guilt, I suppose.

When Rev. Al Sharpton (who always delivers one “Awesome” funeral speech), said to Michael’s children “Your Daddy was not Strange . . . . It was strange what your daddy had to deal with”

three boys

I thought of all of the strange things of the world that my children would have to deal with.

Better yet, the things I hope they won’t ever have to deal with anymore.

And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a little confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within himself to take on the world.

Especially a “strange” one.

To love himself enough to know that even when the world doesn’t understand you, tries to force you into its mold or treat you unkindly, you are still beautiful, strong, and Black.

 How do I do that?

Today, I’m taking back “childhood” as an inalienable right for every brown little one.

 In a world that makes children into “booty-Shakin”, mini- adults long before their time, I’m reclaiming the playful, the innocent, run-around outside, childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults.

Second, I will not rest until my little black boy, My Michael, knows that his broad nose is beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is beautiful.

And nothing or no one, can take that away from him.

Now, ain’t we Bad, ain’t we Black, and ain’t we Beautiful!

african american boys

Maya Angelou July, 2009

As I am enjoying my summer vacation, I love to observe people and all of the vitality that surrounds them. 

As usual, I noticed little boys flipping at the festival that I attended today. Flipping OUt  without any padded floors, Yes they had grass but as one parent informed one of the flippers – “The hospital is NOT close!” – LOL.

Whenever I see little boys flipping without fear on grass, mattresses or off of fences, I can’t help to think – How their life would change if there was just ONE gym in the area that prepared kids like these for competition or the OLYMPICS?

Some people might think that ALL Urban children only enjoy basketball and/or football but that is not true. I know children that would enjoy gymnastics, swimming, tennis, racquetball, golf, rowing and the list goes on.

I remember a former colleague sponsoring one of her former students so that he could attend a Gymnastics Class that prepared students for the Olympics. She noticed his gift of flipping after watching him flip from the monkey bars on the playground outside of her classroom window. In order for him to stay in the Gymnastics Program, the teacher’s only stipulation was that he kept a 2.5 gpa. She offered to tutor him afterschool, pleaded with parents to make sure that homework was complete and turned in—-but in the end she decided to  stop sponsoring him because his gpa never reached a 2.5.

Now if what @irasocol says is true that ” Some people are Gifted in areas and Special Ed. in others”, then this potential gymnast’s gift was definitely Gymnastics.

Posted on: July 31, 2009

Welcome to the World of an Urban Educator!

school room

You might not be able to see the words on the door but  the banner says

“Welcome Back Students”

I always have a last day of school party but recently I started having a beginning of the school year party. I want the students to know that they will learn a lot during the school year and hopefully most of it will be fun and engaging!

Data is My Friend. Data is my Friend.

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