You’ll recall that I had a laptop stolen the day after Sen. Obama’s fatherhood speech.
As a pedagogist who believes in the power of culturally responsive teaching to pretty-much eliminate most of the pathologies facing black children, it definitely was a kick in the gut, particularly since the box was jampacked with black history.
I’m blessed to say my position was confirmed because, just a few days later, after we pointed out that the computer contained a landmark application for several historic black churches, which had to be presented to the National Park Service that weekend, the laptop was returned. The person who brought it back hadn’t even heard about the reward we offered. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to testify about your grace.
History does change people’s sense of self-respect. I watched Vy Higginson, a dedicated cultural activist, come to tears on 60 Minutes by learning about her own personal history, even her white rancher cousin. She’s somebody we would have considered to have it all together. Imagine what it does to someone with no hope to learn that their sense of place and their own person has value to others.
The Congressional Black Caucus has a new report on improving academic performance among black males, which take a similar approach.
These kind of solutions will take youth, their families and this country a lot further than scapegoating. On June 17, I wondered if the candidate would urge some of his supporters to back local solutions. It was a real shock to know that Obama’s campaign had already raised $459,000 in zip code 94115. So it’s not an idle thought, particularly with news stories about the potential closing of the venerable Ella Hill Hutch Community Center just down the street from where my laptop was taken.