A Facebook acquaintance asked on his page, “is (Black History Month) still necessary or has it reached the point where we no longer need to recognize the month of February as such?” Apparently, he overheard some discussion about the topic and queried his FB friends for their comments.
I got in the first few posts, basically saying “is this a rhetorical question? Until the average American can easily rattle off the names of Black scientists, sculptors, entrepreneurs, educators, philosophers, writers, inventors, architects – besides the actors, musicians and sports stars that most people tend to know – as easily as he or she can name people of other ethnic groups or peoples, yes, we still need it. Continue reading →
Tommy Bice impressed me the first time I met him. In fact, I think he impressed us all.
He was the first on the second of two panels at a townhall meeting that my organization, the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists, sponsored to discuss the academic “crisis” in Birmingham City Schools. Continue reading →
As I thought about what to write about the Alabama Education Department’s decision to take over Birmingham City Schools, the Supreme Court also came out with its decision to essentially uphold the basic tenants of Obamacare.
Now, what am I gonna do? Write two columns? Not enough time. So, I decided to look for the existential meaning of both these events happening on the same day. I got my answer, from a good friend who’s been closely following both issues.
His point is really simple: people don’t like forced change, even if it turns out to be good for them. Continue reading →
How are the death of Trayvon Martin, the Civil Rights Movement, Black history, crime and education connected? I’m not 100 percent sure, but I’m going to give it a shot, so bear with me please. Continue reading →
I was distressed this morning to hear that the Birmingham School Board hastily called together a 5 p.m. meeting today – a religious holiday for most people – to discuss the contract of Superintendent Craig Witherspoon.
All the people who are reportedly not Dr. Witherspoon fans will be there. But several of his supporters, who had already planned to be out of town because of the holiday, won’t be there to have a say in what happens at this meeting.
For a while now, I have heard rumblings about plans to get rid of the superintendent, and it’s my fault for not taking enough time to learn exactly what problem(s) the grumblers were having with him. Continue reading →
SkillsUSA Alabama– a two-day expo, competition and conference that allows businesses in industries such as construction and technology to expose schoolchildren to technical careers – starts today in Birmingham.
If you’re wondering why I would take the time to write about this, let me explain.
Recent reports, such as a recently completed Harvard University study, show that too many of our kids and youth are not prepared to enter the workforce as well-trained workers, and certainly not enterprising entrepreneurs who create jobs. Continue reading →
I grew up hearing the slogan, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” not knowing the power behind the words.
I knew it was the catch phrase for the United Negro College Fund. Most of the time when I was growing up, it meant Lou Rawls would headline an all-star fundraising telethon for UNCF, much like Jerry Lewis did for muscular dystrophy around Labor Day.
So now, these many years later, I have a much better appreciation for what that slogan and those raised funds mean. Continue reading →
Many of you probably know of Dr. Steve Perry. For those who don’t, he’s become the new face of education reform in America thanks to CNN. The network highlighted the success-against-the-odds principal Perry and his Capital Preparatory Magnet School, a public school in Hartford, Conn. that he helped found, in its 2009 “Black in America” series.
And after listening to Perry’s speech at the African American Business Council’s recent annual luncheon, I understand why he’s been successful. Continue reading →