Should NOLA Parents be More Supportive of the White Teachers that Teach their Children?

  Let me begin by stating that I am a strong proponent for having more teachers that are representative and reflective of the population that it serves. I believe race match is a significant and valuable contributor to student performance and success. Translation: black teachers + black kids = potentially more support and opportunities.   But in the city of New Orleans, this is not our reality.  Until school talent search teams… Read More

Shantell Lee: In the spirit of celebration

  Working in education in this city, I’ve begun to realize that Shantell Lee and the countless other New Orleanians who have succeeded are really something to be celebrated. Not because they are some sort of an anomaly, but because they are not an anomaly. Despite so many structural barriers that work against her and others like her, Shantell has risen to success—and not just success defined by the normal social markers… Read More

Independence Day: More Than a Barbecue?

  There’s so much I didn’t know growing up.  There were things my mom didn’t know and therefore couldn’t teach me.  Things my teachers may have known, but couldn’t tell me because they’d potentially lose their jobs.  For some reason, I thought growing up black and poor meant I had been through something that would, in turn, make me GREAT – make me successful.  I wanted to be the opposite of my… Read More

What, to a Slave Descendant, is your 4th of July?

by Shawnta S. Barnes Without fail, when certain U.S. federal holidays come around each year, the debate begins about whether or not the holiday should be celebrated especially by minorities.  Franchesca Ramsey, host of MTV Decoded, details in two videos, “Everything You Know about Thanksgiving is Wrong” and “Columbus was a Genocidal Rapist” some of the reasons we should think about what we are truly celebrating.  This debate isn’t new.  On July 5,… Read More