A little over two weeks ago, I received an email from a former student I had last year. She was (and I sure still is) an ideal student. I was impressed with her “out the box” thinking. She is a young white girl. One year ago I taught this young lady. One year ago I encountered what many Black teachers encounter; racism. For me, I’ve been blessed despite those moments that I almost hated people. But God doesn’t hate so why should I? And most importantly, HE continues to put me on the “path to righteousness.” I wrote a book, I still have a roof over my head, and I have a testimony that has truly made me that much stronger.
The testimonies that were read from the investigation share, “Every chance she gets she lets people know that she is black…” and “ she is a racist with “serious mental issues, bi-polar with narcissistic tendencies.” Whoa, right… I’m a narcissist … like Me??? And hell yeah I’m proud to be a Black woman! I’m especially proud during Feb as an English educator!!!!! Say it loud: I’m BLACK AND IM PROUD!!! Are people still so oblivious to understanding why this is important? I had to wait for a black baby to be ordered growing up because we didn’t just have them on the shelves…. this is why I EDUCATE 🥱
I share color because despite what people want to believe; race does matter… it really matters! Skin color does matter. Must I say that again?!
Growing up, I was surrounded by drug dealers and so many others that we judge. I was pushed to go to college and be in the midst of “whiteness” and told that college would help me out of my “evil” environment. I don’t believe in that anymore. My environment might have been hopeless, but the evil came because of our circumstances that were decided by people that didn’t look like us. The one thing that those drug dealers and those that I grew up around did for me is push me when I could have lost hope. They never sabotaged me and they knew me. They spoke to me and not at me. I knew their struggles. I knew their families. We were and still are the same. We are tired of the bull crap that this institution called life has to offer black and brown people. We try and we continue to be pressed into the soil; unseen, drowned by the excess water and soil that those that try to disregard our character subject us to… and eventually we blossom, but some…. they don’t…because they just don’t do so well without sunlight and the love they need….
But, they knew my character. They knew my worth and still every so often “those” that we criminalize send me praises because I made it and I send them thanks because I could have never made it without them. The institution of whiteness in most of our areas of life do not work that way. They are heartless. They are cruel. They are too damn busy competing to see there is no damn need for competition. There is enough to go around. They make assumptions and instead of seeing me or anyone that look like me as a person, they fear what they could use to help them to become better. Read that again…… they fear what they could use to help them become better. Yeah… people like me can help….
That student that sent me the message is my hope. She is my hope that she will always speak her truth and never judge based off of the majority. She is my hope that there are white young ladies who will tell the truth even when…society might label them.
The above colleague that stalked me and “cyber-bullied” me was reprimanded, because although he shared a few times he didn’t “google” me on government computers, the truth eventually came out and he confessed (hmmmm the White tears he also displayed). And paper trails don’t lie.. 🥱
His rationale was dumb as hell, but it boiled down to he wanted to learn more about this #dopeAss Black woman with multiple degrees who we call Dr. But, why? It didn’t matter what I did (bringing gifts back from Jerusalem or even Chicago writers museum or even sharing a blog I wrote about my experience in Normandy for D-Day because this person was going for the summer…. they still yearned to know more… I guess what they say about Black women being enticing…. or is it just pure hate…and I’m not obligated to let anyone in… No One!) nothing was enough for them to … See Me…. like …see me. I shared I was black, but did they understand or do they understand what this means?
This entire situation was horrible on so many levels. For one, this particular colleague did so much gossiping that I am unsure how he was even able to teach his students. The other “educator” was and maybe still sleeping with a student (I believe she married him according to texts I received 🤷🏽♀️ from people who I’ve blocked because they were too afraid to share truth…. they even sent me a picture of them together…this young boy and this grown a$$ woman…and I must say God has worked on me… DO NOT blog or upload that picture because it just doesn’t matter….I don’t know but I pray that they both have taken moments to reflect on what it means to be an educator) but they were concerned about how I pushed my students to excel?
One of the young white girls who was interviewed and recorded me, recorded me fussing at a young male. This young male was Black. His parents were fully aware of what I did to help him. I have a recording and screen shot of messages. We went to lunch and they shared how white moms made a Facebook post to bash me; comments read “we hate her because she is not teaching the curriculum and she has talked about blacks people every day last month.” WTF…. it was taken down, but it was February and not only did I reach the curriculum, but I know the curriculum. I have index cards with the standards that I lay out as I prepare lessons. But, of course hateful people don’t care because again they saw me as a Black woman and regardless of what I did…. I was wrong.
I also had conversations that I recall vividly with this young girl telling me about her alcoholic father and how she always tried to fit in. She moved from another state as most military kids do and she shared her struggle to “fit in.” She shared a horrible story of how she tried to fit in the year before and really wanted friends…. so I guess to gain attention she did what many do…. and white privilege is real even if you are mixed. I’ve noticed a Cuban man consider himself White. If you look it… go for what will be less of a struggle for you, right?
Another parent contacted me just a few months ago to see if I would be willing to be her child’s trust agent. This is a Black male and I advocated for him. But obviously all of these comments don’t mean anything because two white hateful former colleagues comments about me (me???? I’m still shocked!) being a “bigot” who is “living in an alternate reality” because I am aware that race matters in education and that it is pretty damn bad to sleep with your students and come to work drunk. White privilege…. this is a great example of this….and culturally our Black kids are faced with more because they are judged from the very moment they step into the class… school. And they are looked at based on their circumstances and not their potential.
And of course those parents who had me on Facebook and who blatantly said …. you know mean things that white women still say to black women…ha… will never change… (side note: and one reason why I remind my BLACK son to provide all information when he goes out with White girls…..and who cares if you judge me….🥱)
At any rate, I thank everyone for such experiences because it has given me something to push forward to everyday. It has shown me what love really means, it has made me forgive people even when I’ve wanted to hate, but most importantly it shows that race does matter. And it also shows that there are still so many Blacks afraid of those racial encounters they will “bow down….” and close their eyes. We can change but until it’s addressed, it will never go away and we need strong people unafraid of losing their jobs with integrity to be change agents… that’s ME!!!!
I was investigated, falsely accused, and every single podcast, webanir, text message, evaluation, etc that I have had over the years have been pretty accurate…. I fuss and I push because I care. Yes!!! I FUSS!
As for the young lady who recorded me, I pray for her and her family.
My son recently wrote an inmate. This inmate was falsely accused and his jurors were all white. He is sitting in prison for many years because of a white girl. He is a Black male less than six years older than my own son. I remind my son very often to be mindful of who he associates with and especially drives in his car. Often time when people do not get their way or feel overshadowed, they might do mean things, so never lose who you are.. EVER because they will not feel bad and will carry on with their lives. And then what happens to you?? Focus my dear Black son because even now you are still unsafe.
I continue to fuss and I continue to receive amazing messages. I continue to let people know that I will only change to make myself a better educator, but I will always be a proud Black woman! Where I have come from, many do not succeed and those that are white and privileged will never understand.
Thank you for the text young person. Thank you for being true to you and seeing the difference I made in your life. That day, you answered a question that I asked God, “Why?” And daily he shows me those circumstances made me stronger, made my voice louder, and proved that race….does matter!