“…it takes a whole hand—both hands—to grab hold of hatred”

Today is the anniversary date of what is often referred to (in Tennessee) as the Waffle House shooting. That is an accurate description as far as names go but one that has always felt too impersonal, because part of the loss of life in this shooting was personal to me. One of the people whoContinue reading ““…it takes a whole hand—both hands—to grab hold of hatred””

“Joy is an act of resistance” (and into every life a little RAIN must fall)

In 2020 I happened upon a group called the Resistance Revival Chorus and they have been on steady repeat in my playlists ever since. At the end of one of their songs, they share that the poet Toi Derricotte says “Joy is an act of resistance”. I have said that many times since then, andContinue reading ““Joy is an act of resistance” (and into every life a little RAIN must fall)”

“I didn’t try to register for you”: The power and strength of Fannie Lou Hamer

I can’t remember how old I was when I learned about the life and work of Fannie Lou Hamer, but I know I was older than I should have been. I find that with my students too; while a few of them have heard her name, most have not. In my Social Movement and SocialContinue reading ““I didn’t try to register for you”: The power and strength of Fannie Lou Hamer”

“Memory knows before knowing remembers”— Using Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir in teaching about trauma

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir is by Natasha Trethewey and it was published in 2020. The quote in the title of this post is from William Faulkner, used by the author in her work. I finished the book last week, as was assigned in an integrated learning community (ILC) that I am teaching in thisContinue reading ““Memory knows before knowing remembers”— Using Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir in teaching about trauma”

Happy birthday, Rosa Parks

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” I am making a short post in honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday, born this day in 1913. I learned about Rosa Parks in high school (maybe before, but I definitely remember high school) and I learned about her in the conventionallyContinue reading “Happy birthday, Rosa Parks”

Black history is American history

Black history is American history, all year long, not just in February. That being said, the textbooks and curriculum most often used in the US still minimizes the contributions of Black people with respect to scientists, educators, inventors, writers, and others. As Sachel Harris wrote in February of 2020, “With 80% of teachers being whiteContinue reading “Black history is American history”

Centering other voices: The US and the 4th of July

This semester I am teaching a class called Social Movement and Social Change. It is the first time I have taught this course, though I had a bit of trial run last semester when I incorporated the themes of resistance in my section of the First Year Seminar. There are 25 students in class, aContinue reading “Centering other voices: The US and the 4th of July”

50,000 Coaches and Community Resilience

Last week, at the very end of our between semester break, my family and I watched Akeelah and the Bee. I had seen it before, several years ago, but loved it just as much this time around. If you haven’t seen it, the basic plotline is that Akeelah, a middle school student, is enrolled atContinue reading “50,000 Coaches and Community Resilience”

Teaching with the “Do No Harm” podcast

I finished listening to the last episode of the Do No Harm podcast today. It was a hard podcast to listen to, emotionally speaking, and I am no stranger to working in child welfare. I listened while walking around the neighborhood over the last couple of weeks, and there were a couple of portions ofContinue reading “Teaching with the “Do No Harm” podcast”

Honesty

Today has been unsettling. Simultaneously surprising (can this really be happening here? In the US?) and yet…not surprising at all. The past 4 years and then some have been building to this moment. I am thankful I have a few days to think before seeing a group of students. Between teaching a class on trauma,Continue reading “Honesty”