The Knowledge Of

Knowledge: : Awareness of something : the state of being aware of something.

Understanding: : The knowledge and ability to judge a particular situation or subject.

Many equate the terms knowledge and understanding, using them as synonyms when they are not synonymous at all.

From their definitions one can see that understanding involves knowledge however it includes the ability to use knowledge to gain understanding in order to judge or determine the best answer to any question, the best solution to any problem.

Reading: : The act of reading something.

Comprehension: The act or action of grasping with the intellect; understanding.

The same confusion arises when we want our children to read more. Reading is an act that involves nothing more than a decoding of symbols. Comprehension is taking what you read, thinking about it, relating it to personal experience, and gleaning from the words, the author’s intent.

In America we know that everyone should be educated however we do not understand that there is no bar or particular level of achievement that can be placed on the human spirit without limiting that spirit to an artificial norm.

To achieve educationally in America, you must be a White, middle income, male. The language was recently changed when the concept of “growing the middle class” arose. The standard used previously was wealthy, White male.

This is the standard that perpetuates the racist, classist, and sexist attitudes in education that allow us to view our children as “failures” when they don’t reach the “bar”.

We don’t understand that when we set artificial norms for our children we are limiting the potential of the human spirit to become whatever one can dream of becoming.

When we concentrate only on what we know, we are simply decoding the messages of life without comprehending the meaning of the story of life.

It is time we come to an understanding of the importance of changing our system of education so that it concentrates on bringing forth the full potential of every human spirit.

Remove the “bar” and watch us soar.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

Both the Mayor and the School Board have assembled education committees to address the failure of our children to meet the standards of the State.

Unfortunately, neither the Mayor nor the Board are seeking to change the way we educate children but are trying desperately to find ways to meet the needs of children while adhering to the requirements of the State.

Our children must come first.

Acknowledging that our children should be a consideration when addressing education is a step forward and for that, both entities should be applauded.

However it is impossible to achieve educational success in a system that is designed to cause the failure of children and insure the profits of corporations.

You cannot focus on children with an educational lens that is positioned to see only data and dollars.

Both the Mayor and the Board are concerned with funding, and rightly so, as they are in charge of very large budgets and are responsible to the community for expenditures.

As a community however, we should be more concerned with our children than with their budgets.

What the Mayor and the Board may not know is that the Federal government is relaxing their funding streams to actually address the need to change the paradigm of education.

As citizens across the country stand up against the Common Core a realization is occurring that maybe it isn’t our children or our parents, or our teachers causing our children to fail not only educationally, but in their capacity to be human as well.

We cannot continue to work within a system that is inhumane and demoralizing. We cannot continue to find ways to “reform” the horror that perpetuates racism, classism, sexism, and all other forms of hate that the arrogance and pride of wealth uphold.

Until we change the system of education so that it concentrates on the gifts and talents of All of our children and provide them with a child centered, developmentally appropriate education founded in the Arts, our children will continue to fail and corporations will continue to profit.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Two Sides To Every Coin

There is no question that the capture, enslavement, torture, and genocide of any people is a disgrace of humanity.

There is no argument for any aspect of this dehumanizing and demoralizing institution.

There is something positive however that can be learned from every life experience and we must teach our children to glean those realities from the negatives that were wrought.

We must teach our children that, while there were atrocities suffered, the strength of the human spirit survived those atrocities creating a new reality for those affected by the experience.

Our children must know and understand the facts of history, that the genocide, slavery and subjugation of humans happens everywhere, not just in America and it did not end hundreds of years ago but continues even today.

They should know it was not just “White” men who were committing these atrocities, all men were.

Our children must know and understand that hate is an attitude of mankind and slavery is just one tool used to perpetuate that attitude.

The other side of the slavery coin.

Working from can’t see in the morning until can’t see at night kept slaves focused on improving their condition, giving them hope.

Being fed the foulest of foods caused their bodies to develop a natural resistance to diseases making them physically strong.

The people brought here against their will learned new languages, the language of their captors and the languages of the other captives and then developed a universal language that even their captors could not grasp, increasing their verbal intelligence.

The act of slavery brought the human race closer to the unity that must be achieved before we can move forward as a species by creating a cultural mixture of human experience that taught us that we can survive and succeed regardless of circumstances.

It is the distraction of evil that keeps us from focusing on the good.

There is a good side to everything and when we teach children our history, that should be our focus.

Accentuate the positive and we will move forward.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Two Movies – One Message

This month in Black History, Rochester’s citizens experienced the debut of two radically different yet strikingly similar independent films.

The first, Carvin Eison’s “Shadows of the Lynching Tree”. According to the website, “The story centers on a brief encounter between two boys, both named Jesse, one black the other white. Following a 1916 incident in Waco, Texas, Jesse Washington, the 17-year-old Black youth, was summarily tried and lynched. The second Jesse, a 10-year-old white lad from James Baldwin’s short story “Going to Meet the Man” is taken by his father to witness the lynching.”

The second film, “THE THROWAWAYS”, co-directed and produced by Ira McKinley, “courageously explores the most pressing racial justice issue of our time: the mass incarceration of poor people of color. ”

Carvin Eison’s film, moves beyond the horror of the lynchings and concentrates instead on the perceptions and attitudes of the children that were taken to see these lynchings as though they were a form of entertainment and what effect that had on their humanity as they grew into adulthood.

The perceptions and attitudes of children was the focus of Ira McKinley’s film as well. Falling prey to the social injustices of an America that is supposed to be free and equal for all of its citizens and freeing oneself from an imposed system of oppression by becoming independent of that system is powerful and McKinley wants children to know that they have the power to overcome the structure of failure in which they have been “hanged”.

Attendees to both events were privileged to be able to speak with the film makers to discuss the effect the history of hatred in America has had and now has on the children growing up in that system.

Both Eison and McKinley understand that we must provide ALL of our children with an excellent education that concentrates on developing their gifts and talents, letting them know we all have something to give to this world to make it better.

Our children must know our history so that they don’t repeat our mistakes.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Follow Our Leaders

Malcolm X: Advice to the Youth of Mississippi (31 December 1964)

“Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Therefore we need enlightenment. We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Once we have more knowledge (light) about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a United front will be brought about.”

“Once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least the businesses in our community. What we will be doing is developing a situation wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community. And once you can create some employment in the community where you live it will eliminate the necessity of you and me having to act ignorantly and disgracefully, boycotting and picketing some place else trying to beg him for a job. Anytime you have to rely upon your enemy for a job you’re in bad shape.” Malcolm X Speech in Detroit, Michigan (April 12, 1964)

Many people have heard of Malcolm X and believe they know and understand what he knew and understood. They believe that he was killed because he was a Black militant, a threat to this nation. They believed he believed in violence.

Many people believe that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King disagreed about the way to attain freedom in America.

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King died because they began to unite over of the importance of breaking the bank of capitalism and becoming an educated, self-reliant people, working together, in love and respect, to advance all mankind.

They knew and understood that the only way to lead the people in America out of the bondage of hate is to provide every child in America with an excellent education that teaches them to love themselves and others.

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were killed because they were beginning to be heard.

All children deserve an excellent education, it is our only hope of survival as a people.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

To Be Or To Do – That Is The Question

Recently, a very intelligent individual said that Black children suffer more than White children.

For any child to suffer is heinous yet we except the suffering of children and profit from it, based solely on the color of their skin or parents economic status.

Hamlet’s famous soliloquy asks the question, ” Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them?”

Do we take the money and run or do we fight for righteousness and end human suffering?

“For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely the pangs of despised love, the law’s delay. . .”

Hamlet decides it’s better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable.

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprise of great pitch and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action.”

Reading Shakespeare is difficult however, taking the time to understand what was meant to be taught is important.

We are not educating our children to “be” but to “do” and because we have lost the understanding of the difference between the two, we are lost to the “conscience that does make cowards of us all.”

Preparing our children to be “college and career” ready sounds like a noble enough endeavor however, the human spirit should not be confined to such narrow paths.

Shakespeare understood the theater brought people of all ages, sexes, and social strata to a social understanding of where we could be, should be as human beings.

Shakespeare let his audience know, rich or poor, we are all subject to the questions of life whose answers determine our life’s path.

Educating our children to “do” instead of to “be” is wrong.

It is time to stop being cowards and stand up for the right of all of our children to an excellent education.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The Truth Be Told

Black History in America.

First, slave traders took only the strongest beings they could find and packed as many as they could into the bowels of their ships because captives would jump overboard, starve themselves, and die of hunger and thirst, before making it to America.

Those who survived the ordeal became the strongest of the strong.

Once in America slaves were sold, beaten, starved, denied decent shelter, clothing, and sleep. They were worked like animals and treated worse. They were raped and they were murdered, all to save the cost of labor which increased profits. Many died, many were killed.

Those who survived became the strongest of the strongest of the strong.

According to the American Psychological Association, “African American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than Caucasian children.”

“African Americans and Latinos are more likely to attend high-poverty schools than Asian Americans and Caucasians.” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007)

“African Americans are at higher risk for involuntary psychiatric commitment than any other racial group.”

Angel L. Harris reports, “By age 17 the average Black student is four years behind the average white student and relative to whites, Blacks have on average only three-fifths as many college graduates and three-fourths as much in earnings, and Blacks’ human capital credentials receive more intense scrutiny than those of whites when in contention for promotions, the racial wage gap widens after labor market entry, and the black wage disadvantage persists net of education, experience, hours worked, occupation, authority, region, and city size..”

How can this be?

After fighting and dying for the right to be able to read and write, to have a voice and to vote, how could anyone knowing the truth, Black or White, believe that the spirit to overcome adversity, trials, and tribulations belongs to those of a particular skin color and financial standing.

Once we provide ALL of our children with an excellent education, they will ALL know and understand that they have the power within them to succeed, regardless of their skin color or parents bank account.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!