Musings Of A Drapetomaniac

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Click here to support Ms. Harrington's English Class by Ashley Nicole

I am raising money to be able to purchase class sets of novels, books for our classroom library, and and basic school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, filler paper, etc. for each of my 150 students.  When I went to the public library in search of class sets, I found that they did not have characters that reflected the racial background of my predominantly black students. According to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, of the “3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people” (Myers).  

Junot Diaz, author and creative writing professor at MIT, once said:

"There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.” 

Please consider helping me bring books that reflect the experiences of my students to the classroom.

If Black People Said The Stuff White People Say

"When a Negro becomes famous, he’s assumed by the bulk of those he helplessly represents to have become a whore. You can see this happening with some Negro politicians. Many Negroes will say of them, ‘Those politicians couldn’t have made it unless they’re just as corrupt as the whites are.’"

- from an interview with James Baldwin published in the New York Herald Tribune on this day in 1963

Sources from infographic: “Absurd Contradictions of Capitalism”Fact: There are 22 Empty Homes for Every Homeless Person18.4 Million Empty Homes (CNBC)842,000 Homeless in a Given Week (National Coalition for the Homeless)Fact: 50% Millionaires in Congress, 1% in countrySource: Center for Responsive PoliticsPoverty Map, 2007-2010Source: Stateline /Pew CenterFact: 146 Million Poor or Near Poor (Half the U.S. Population)Source: U.S. Census Bureau[Note: Yes, with a population of 311 million, 47% is the real number, but cut us some slack.]Fact: Workers produce more than ever, but wages are STAGNANTSource: EPI analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor StatisticsFact: The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisonersSource: ACLUFacts on The Racist Criminal ‘Justice’ System1 in 15 Black men behind bars1 in 35 Latino men behind bars1 in 105 white men behind barsSource: ACLUFact: How our tax dollars are spentSource: Federal discretionary budget, calculated in billions (2012)

The White Teachers I Wish I Never Had -

Black children need teachers who can reflect the history of our people to them in an honest and empowering way. They also need teachers who see them, who don’t think of them as deficient, as problems to solve, or as thugs-in-training, when they are really just children, innocent and eager and as capable of learning as anyone else. They need teachers who can love them. In a world that tells them they are less, having authority figures, from an early age, who believe in their humanity, in their goodness, in their extraordinariness, is everything.

-Mia McKenzie

"hands down, yuri was the baddest ally to black folks, a revolutionary, and a fighter. Brilliant and dedicated, she worked with the harlem parent committee, the young lords, AND malcolm x. She was a member of the organization of afro american unity and stayed organizing for the people.
she lived a boss life.
yuri my shero,
rise and rest in peace
with elder maya."

- Antoinette Luna Myers


“Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware. It is the perfect vehicle for students. Consciousness-raising is pertinent for power, and be sure that power will not be abusively used, but used for building trust and goodwill domestically and internationally. Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.” - Yuri Kochiyama, Japanese-American activist (May 19, 1921 - June 1, 2014)

"Wasn’t no Communist country that put my grandpappa in slavery. Wasn’t no Communist lynched my poppa or raped my mamma."

- Maya Angelou

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."


Maya Angelou

Rest in Power, Queen. 

"The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are."

- Maya Angelou

“And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”
— Maya Angelou

Rest in Paradise, Queen.