Last night I was helping a friend with her computer. She asked me to help her find a story about a teacher fired for being too Afro-centric. My fingers went flying and there it was on the Los Angeles Times web site. The writer of the story is Howard Blume and the title of the story is School rallies around teacher fired deemed too Afro-centric.
Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, Karen Salazar, was fired because she taught her students about the words of Langston Hughes and Malcolm-X in her classroom. She tossed in a little Tupac for some flavor. The story appeared on June 12th and is only accessible for seven days before it goes behind the wall of forgettable "It is a shame but what can we do?"
Well, that what would have happened in the past. This is future-time. If you can't see the video please boogie on over to Fire In Watts Other related videos "Protest Jordan High School, We Want Ms. Salazar Back!" "Save Ms. Salazar, Now"
If you can't teach a poet in a high school class I don't want to go to your school. If you cannot teach this poet, this man of letters, then there is something wrong in the LAUSD system that no amount of money can fix.I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--
I, too, am America.
Poets.org has a good biographical page on Langston. The Library of Congress has a site called America's Story from America's Library and there is a section on Mr. Hughes. Masterpiece Theater/The American Collection has a bunch of links to help you learn more about Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance.I am especially riled up about this because I use to sit on the second floor of my local library reading "Jesse B. Semple" stories. I found an audio authorized collection of Jesse B. Semple stories at Town Hall. Mr. Ossie Davis is your guide. There is a surface meaning and the true meaning. Don't let Jesse fool you. You might want to smack him upside the head but hear the whole piece out and you will gather what Langston is trying to tell you and the world. I would suggest that you use the Quicktime to listen to the .au format. You should be ok if you have Real Player. Next is a video mash-up of Lansgton Hughes poem "The Weary Blues" and a look at some of our ancestors making with the syncopation.
And I'd want them to know that seeing the impossible is what forward thinking people do. Now more than ever. Solidarity to Karen Salazar and her students on their new journeys.