Being of the few black males in my school system, I felt alone and earmarked to fail.
Walking down the school halls I felt alone
The only brown kernel in a maze of white popcorn
I sheltered myself within the confines of my brain
“Speak only when spoken to” “Do the absolute minimum” “Don’t offend anybody”
Mottos I lived by
I felt most alone during lunch
The white mush of bland casserole and whatever in an Italian dunker helped me realized the environment I was in.
Unseasoned. Uncultured. Lacking the black pepper that was the spice and jazz of my people.
I was not the fastest runner in school. Yet when we played tag the others kids did not follow me. I guess they didn’t want to catch blackness.
I was one of the smartest kids in the class. Yet they put me in the back, said statistically I was supposed to lack behind my white, I mean bright, classmates. But if they peeled my skin back.
If they looked past the black.
They would find gold. In every little chocolate boy and girl. If you stop watering a plant it dies. If you stop encouraging students, their motivation dies. We should be teaching children how to build themselves rather than investing in more jail cells. The children are the future so why are we keeping them in the past. Last year a third of the kids sent to jail looked like me, while we make up a tenth of the population in this country. We as a society are to blame.
We scream BLACK LIVES MATTER from the top of our lungs but forget that BLACK MINDS MATTER as well.
Sow into our students.
All of our students.