Tuesday, 15 May 2012 19:27
For the Family of a Pasadena Born and Bred Georgia Graduate
This past weekend we traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to watch our daughter-in-law graduate from college. Makini is the wife of our youngest son, Jamal, and the mother of two of our grandchildren, Joshua and Kyla. Her graduation comes a few years after their marriage and it was sweet to watch her march down the aisle to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Agnes Scott College. She made us doubly proud. She graduated with honors.
Agnes Scott is an all-woman's college in Atlanta with a motto that describes it as "The World Of Women." Just as Morehouse is an all-male college and Spelman is all-female, so Agnes Scott is a women's world. I couldn't help but think of the people who think there should not be all-Black colleges and wonder what they think about the one gender schools. I don't see the problem. The point is to get an education, and if that means with the support of like-minded folks just like you, then that's okay too!
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 10:12
A Tool for Making Mother's Job Easier
The headline in the April 19, 2012 Tri-State Defender newspaper out of Memphis, Tennessee caught my eye. It said, "State To Parents: Get On Your Job!" The article is about a new law in the state of Tennessee that was designed to urge parents to "get involved and stay engaged in their children's school and education."
I don't know whether it is sad or creative that the state has to mandate by law that parents get involved in their child's education. But it doesn't really matter how it came to be as long as it works to improve a child's education prospects and keeps them out of the pipeline to a criminal track and to the State's prison system. The Law has two parts to it. Part one is the Parental Contract, and part two is a Parental Report Card.
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 11:56
An article in the Wednesday, March 21, Pasadena Star News caught my eye because it was about educational opportunities for a select group across the country. The article entitled, "Growing In Pasadena" had a subtitle that said "Providence Christian College plans merger." It was about a small local Christian college, Providence, joining with a larger Southern Christian college, Covenant College in Lookout, Georgia, planning to expand their capability to educate more Christian students on the west coast. Providence, located in Pasadena, CA, has only 74 students. Covenant has over 1,000 students.
The article caught my eye because I have been talking about such a project since the first issue of the Pasadena Journal published in November, 1989. I have been asking why one of the Historical Black Colleges didn't create a western arm as an extension or why someone doesn't just create a new Black College in the West? The recent step by the University of California partnering with the Historical Black Colleges is evidence that it can be done.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 08:46
History tells us that throughout the history of America, any progress made by Black Americans was destroyed by racist White supremacists. The motto of White America has been to keep African Americans in the place designed by the American Slavery Movement. That place is as a servant who is never to be equal to the white man. Time and time again, the African spirit rises to the top to prove that, indeed, Blacks are not just equal but they can rise to lead, whether it is in politics, business, athletics, the arts, or in leadership. Each time the spirit of hate that created the evil empire of Black slavery rededicates itself to trying to crush the African spirit, we rise and fight.
The spirit cannot be crushed, except by the spirit being withdrawn by God or the bearer's silence and acceptance of being crushed. History tells us that this has not happened, no matter the obstacles and pitfalls placed in the way. The poet Maya Angelou writes, "And still I rise". Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted the poet, William Cullen Bryant, who writes, "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." Prophet, teacher and preacher, Jeremiah Wright, taught us that it is the Spirit of God that keeps us strong, again and again.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 10:54
A few weeks ago I spoke to the Ujima class at Pasadena City College. The professor is Gabrielle Pina, the author of the play, "Letters From Zora." Because I think that when we speak to young people we need to leave them with something meaningful, I prepared an exercise. The exercise involved requesting them to write in a little booklet while or after I talk. I handed the booklet out at the beginning of the class, and picked it up at the end of the class. On the booklet cover is the picture of a hobo/bum with the words, "If You're so smart why aren't you rich." I've spoken of this topic many times before in this column. You may remember, the picture idea comes from a drawing that my mother gave me after I passed the bar exam. The original was drawn in 1929, the year of the great depression. I prize the picture for a lot of reasons, not the least of which, it keeps me humble and is a constant reminder of the wisdom my mother and my father taught me.
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