black freedom school

And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.
—  Martin Luther King, Jr., Grosse Pointe High School: March 14, 1968
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We read a wonderful book, and do fun activities each day. However, my scholars learn a little extra. My scholars have learned about gender identity, Black women’s ideology, Afrofuturism, enslaved African people, classism, sexism/misogyny/misogynoir, colorism, food deserts, racism, intersectionality, pan- Africanism and gender as a means to understand Latinx (instead of saying Latino/a) and Afro Latinx. My scholars are BRILLIANT! 💛

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FAKE TV MEME: THE RED ROOM

RUSSIA, 1973.

They call it the Black Widow Programme. Girls go in, they say, and come out as wolves; teeth sharpened for flesh, smiles as perfect as their fingers are deft around a throat. That is, if they come out at all.

Natalia Romanova was eight when her handler put the puppy she had raised for a year into her hands alongside a garrotte. Natalia Romanova was twelve when she killed her first man. She was fourteen when they gave her a gun for the first time. She is sixteen when the whispers of a new operative drifts through the halls of the Red Room, carried by the whispers of thirteen girls.

They call him the Winter Soldier. And he only takes the best.

I Should be Allowed to Wear a Skirt.

I am Rashaun and I go to the school district of Elizabeth Board of Education and last week I really had the desire to wear a skirt. This is my first time wearing a skirt and upon wearing it, I felt really comfortable in my skin. I felt like I was finally able to express the real side of me. I decided that the next day I would wear the skirt to school. Now, I was fully aware of the blatant bigotry and side comments of me wearing the skirt but I was prepared. So I came to school with pants on (I wore the skirt underneath the pants so my parents weren’t aware of it.) During homeroom I went straight to the bathroom and wore my skirt. As soon as I opened the door to leave the bathroom, I was exposed to some people giving me an side eye. I walk to my class and out of nowhere I am being hugged by a girl who commented,

“You are so brave for wearing the skirt.” For once I felt welcomed for being who I was. Throughout the day I was receiving various compliments and as well as the negative comments. Comments like,

“What the fuck are you wearing.” Or “Why are you wearing that skirt, you’re a guy!” Though I felt slightly saddened by the lack of understanding a millennial would get for a guy wearing the skirt I just proceeded to go to my classes. I should address that I am gender fluid so I have no problem with the pronouns I receive. Continuing on towards the end of the day, I change back to my black pants and used my locker. This is by the time the vice principal came to me to say,

“Are you the guy who wore the skirt?” She asked accompanied by the security guard on that floor and then I realized what the conversation would start. I calmly said yes and then she continued to say and this is not precisely quoted,

“ I understand that you are trying to express you individuality, but you are posing a distraction to the other children… (Something of the line of don’t wear the skirt again)”. I proceeded to calmly say yes I won’t wear the skirt ever again and sorry.

               I do not understand where I am posing a distraction to other kids for wearing a piece of fabric. I was clearly following the schools uniform code which clearly says black pants or a black skirt and so I did not by any chance break any rules. I would understand if I was clearly posing a threat to a person’s education but I wasn’t, I was just wearing a skirt and continuing my life.  After that I went home and felt extremely embarrassed. Why wasn’t I allowed to wear the clothing that made me feel comfortable and that was appropriate. It wasn’t like I was wearing a skirt of a color other than black, I was wearing the uniform.

               I go to a school of art and the population is mainly people of the LGBT spectrum. I would expect a school that focuses on a person’s individuality and diversity to allow and fully support a person’s desire to wear clothing that is socially the clothing of the other sex. I was unexpected at the lack of support in the school and how the school didn’t allow me to feel comfortable. I am at a point in time where I am discovering myself and a skirt can simply make me identify myself a little more. To others it may just be a simple thing as a skirt but to me and many others a skirt can be a gateway to finally coming to terms with yourself and feeling like you’re free to express yourself while feeling comfortable.

(Picture of me in the skirt. Posing no threat to someone’s education.)