She is self-described as a small-town girl, ex-preacher’s wife, bisexual and African American. The cards of predictive jeers couldn’t be stacked any higher against her. Yet, having been reared in the most conservative state in the nation — Oklahoma, where not one county voted for Barack Obama in 2008 — she’s learned to recognize her own “BS”. Now, she helps others to understand and acknowledge their own BS, and the city she lives in is better for it.
In American schools, black children are less likely to see teachers who look like them, so Kandice’s role is essential for self-esteem building and cultural empowerment for her students of color.
Last week I had the privilege of sitting down with a board member who voted in favor of keeping the name out of respect for the individuals who live in the Lee District. It was one of the best conversations I have ever had in my life. We approached one another as human beings. I sat at a table across from an American who looked different from me and allowed myself to become vulnerable with the hope of reaching the heart.
The teachers have walked out demanding better pay. The students walked out demanding an end to school shootings. It’s time school parents used their collective power to demand commonsense gun laws. The current election cycle offers the perfect opportunity.
There is something fundamentally wrong with the foundation of our democratic institution when media companies are more concerned with clicks than their ability to exist as free stand alone institutions. It amazes me how so many political pundits — so-called patriots of America who love, eat, breathe and sleep the Constitution — will not speak out against this apparent covert attack of the First Amendment.
I pray that my students will be so lucky enough to arrive in a classroom with a culturally competent teacher who looks like them and is passionately and unapologetically black. And should they not land in a class with a teacher who does not share the same racial ancestry, my next prayer is that they will encounter a benevolent teacher who will love and celebrate them as I have done. I pray they will gain a wonderful pedagogue or role model who will tell them that the sky is the limit for them and that they can be whatever their heart so desires.
“Low-income minority schools are unequal because of a lack of funding and resources,” and that as a result “most minority schools can’t compete with higher-income schools.”