Thursday, August 27, 2009

Remembering Ted Kennedy

The long life of the great man named Edward "Ted" Kennedy came to an end just a day ago. Even if you are not into politics I am sure you have heard the name Kennedy. Ted lived a long life, born into a family of power and wealth, yet always remembered those less fortunate. He fought for those that could not fight, and spoke for those that did not have a voice. He was instrumental and getting a lot of progressive legislation passed during his 8 terms as a United States Senator, including civil rights, health care and immigration reform.

On a personal level, Ted Kennedy was one of the people I found myself "rooting" for when he spoke on the Senate floor. He spoke with passion and conviction and really made it interesting to watch. He was a man that I think really "GOT IT." Public service is not about getting rich, its about helping and being the voice of the people you represent. Senator Kennedy is an inspiration for me. A man that withstood so much personal struggle and pain. From losing his brothers to losing the presidency, he still indelibly made his mark on history.

"We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make." --Accepting an honorary degree from Harvard, December 2008

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reflections on being a Teacher

Last summer, I had the pleasure of co-teaching a 5th grade summer session at Excellence Charter School in Brooklyn, NY. I thought this blog would be appropriate,since many are embarking upon another school year. When I think of being a teacher, many adjectives come to mind. However the one that really stands out is dedication. I once heard someone say that if you can stand in front of a class and try to maintain and teach children, you can handle any job.
Many people do not give teachers the credit they are due. They are the lifetime, between success and failure. Many work sun up to sun down before and way after school lesson planning, grading papers and thinking of new ideas to improve their teachings style. For almost 3 months, I lived the life of a teacher. I had to plan lessons, teach, in addition to attending professional development sessions in the evenings. Many people see teaching as a stepping stone to another career but those that stay are the most dedicated.

I cannot stress enough the importance of black male teachers in inner city schools. I remember my own 5th grade teacher, a black male, who scolded me for not getting a math problem right. I will never forget that man or the influence of the many teachers I have had during my academic career.

Today I salute the teachers of the world, as you are producing the next generation of leaders.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tell A Hook Up Story #8 -Internal Affairs

The loooong awaited return of this series! Again thank you all for the feedback. Of course names, and dates are made up to protect any third party.

ATLANTA, Georgia, Fall 2005. Another year of college brought new experiences and challenges but none as peculiar as this. As I was exploring "the life" style in and out the clubs and starting to leave the confines of my dear college lo and behold a member of the college reached back for me. I was on m4n one fine crisp Fall Afternoon on my normal 2 hour break before my next class and I run across a dude who was at the time in his late 20's. A big no no for me at the time since I was barely making 20. Anyway he didn't look his age and he was cute so I figured I would give him some play. We talked briefly and then he asked what school did I go to? I told him and he replied I worked there? Naturally,I was shocked and even horrified in a way? Did he know me? He told me he worked in the payroll office so he doesn't run into students much. I was relieved. So I decided to meet him at the office. It was funny meeting someone from a site like that and acting so inconspicuous, I deserved a damn Oscar, lol. Anyway he was really cool in person and our first encounter was clean. We eventually exchanged YIM information and had another meet and greet on his lunch break in the office. We were both "orally" inclined and that "session" lasted 10 maybe 15 minutes.I have done and did the do in some interesting places but this was maybe the most unique lol. Of course we didn't meet up too much as to not arouse suspicion but when we did, it was a good mid day snack on my part lol.

Controversially Me 'Written word'

I call myself a rebel, a social activist, and a natural born leader
I take stances that are controversial, ugly, and some would say immoral
Im controversially me.

At the same time you will never know the real me
The one that secretly prays for your soul while you sleep
The one that's there through thick and deep.

I may never say "I love you"
But YOU are the LOVE that I need
in my times of trial, being controversially me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Im sure the title of this blog caught your attention. Its a hurt word like nigger, or cracker. It's use is to demean or hurt someone, whether they are homosexual or not. I am writing this blog because I saw first hand how hateful that word can be and even worse how much hate is built up in the person using the word. I was getting my seafood dinner at a local carry out in DC when I overheard a young boy, maybe in his early teens call two dudes that walked by faggots. The dudes walked on and honestly were not clockable but even so the word pierced through me. The young teen was terribly loud and even went so far to say I hope someone kills the faggots. I was in shock and astonishment. I thought who instilled all this hatred into this 12 or 13 year old. Where did he learn to hate so much? Clearly his threats were idle but it reminded me of a reality that we live in. The gay acceptance movement has far to go before stereotypes are removed, especially in the African-American community. Back to my thoughts on the boy I wondered if he learned this hatred at home. Im assuming "daddy" isn't there and mama cant control a teen boys every move. Maybe in school, where we know that age is a time where many teens tend to find themselves. Quite possibly even his church is the root of this hate. His interpretation of what the preacher said about "all gays are going to hell" could simply be, kill them. I don't know the source of the young teen's hatred, but I do know we need to accept people, no matter what their background may be. Diversity training needs to be taught in kindergarten quite frankly, which I know is a controversial issue and stance. However lets face it, most inner city youth are not directly exposed to the positive images that homosexuals contribute to society. That can extend to race and gender as well. The black male is in peril and it starts in the community. Most homes are in shambles and the schools are playing "catch up" so its time the HRC, GLAAD, and NBJC, and other affirming organizations begin to reach out to these people, young and old in order to facilitate discussion and hopefully acceptance. Because although that young man said those things not ONE adult said anything to quiet the boy. The word faggot is unacceptable.