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Showing posts from September, 2013
Dear Deborah Brown Community School ~
It is quite a feat for a small charter to make national news.  It is perversely disappointing, however, to read that a charter school led by two black women is systematically persecuting students of color for celebrating the natural textures of their hair.
As an educator, I understand and value the impact of comportment.  Indeed, many ills of the contemporary school environment can be aggravated by lax guidelines on conduct and appearance. Nonetheless, your policies against natural hairstyles levels a much more serious attack against your students. 
Rather than teaching them how to be “presentable,” your policy forces the concept of “acceptable” at a disastrously early age. Yes, the school should vigorously mandate “neat,” “modest” and “respectable.” These are essential expectations.  Denying the option of neatly, modestly and respectfully showcasing the heritage of their hair, however, reinforces a wickedly pervasive narrative that black succes…

by Dasha Kelly

I’m not sure when it happened, when my words fell away from ordinary, peeling away sneakers to don ruby slippers, starting requesting lemon zest and garnish. I don’t know, exactly, when my words were made to hang back in the green room waiting for a green light to shine.My words don’t think twice about being seen without makeup, in sweatshirts and jeans. They miss racing one another down to sheets of paper, squealing and breathless until they tumble and fall into unexpected formations. My words spend too much time standing around these days, clustered into genres, waiting for invitations to arrive.  They are social creatures but miss their quiet time, too. My words need to sprawl across clean pages, even to find themselves crumpled and tossed away sometimes. They are not all destined for posterity, but each mark a heartbeat in this world.   This is the grandeur of…