Sunday, November 25, 2007

You Better Back That Thing Up

Sister You Better Back that Thang Up
By akazia-juneƩ

Hey sister friend with the firm breast, small waist, and tight behind. You better back that thing up before age and gravity takes all that shit and heads South. Nah, ain’t nothing wrong with shakin what ya mama gave ya, but sister, you better back that thang up. Back that thing up with a mastery of technology, psychology, and phenomenology. Sister you’d better back that thing up with an awareness that though you were born in the projects – the projects were not born in you. Sisters you better back that thang up.

Sister you better back that thang up with a made- up mind that education and the ability to do for self is what you need. Now don’t think I’m hatin', cause I’m only statin`, you ain’t a bitch, you a Queen. Seed of humankind. The first, the last, before you there were none, after you there shall be no more. Sister, you better back that thang up.

Sister, you better back that thang up- cause you stand on the shoulders of ancestral mothers that endured oppression in its highest form so the you could proclaim that “ I’m Every Woman.” Sisters like Queen Hatshepsut, Maria Stewart, Zora Neal Hurston, Sara Vaughn, Billy Holiday, Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth. Sister, you better back that thang up.

Sister you better back that thang up. I know that Wild Women don’t get no blues, but you better insist no glove, no love. Cause AIDS and other STDS are killing us by the thousands. Walk away from that abusive relationship and embrace the lover within. Sister, you better back that thang up.

Sister you better back that thang up by joining in solidarity with brothers who respect you for your mind, body and spirit, rather than a wet hole to lay the wood. Join in love with brothers who want to be more than just yo baby’s daddy: but a life partner ready to help raise a nation. Sisters you better back that thang up.

Sister you better back that thang up with the words of Anna Julie Cooper, who said, “only the Black woman can say when and where I enter, in the quiet of my womanhood, without violence. Then and there the whole African race enters with me.” Sister, you better back that thang up.

Sister you better back that thang up with a strong relationship with Mother, Father God. Knowing that nothing is impossible if we only trust. Sister as you embrace Y2K and a new millenium, I’m telling you- Sister, you better back that thang up! Sister you better back that thang up! Sister, you better back that thang up! And I ain’t talking about your hard drive.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Toward a Plan for Radical Education Reform


None of the major presidential candidates has set forth a plan of action for the improvement of public education for K-12. “No Child Left Behind” has failed in its efforts due to lack of funding, unrealistic performance indicators and the absence of a genuine commitment to education reform on the part of government officials, schools and community leaders.

Sound education reform will create learning communities where critical thinking, rather than the regurgitation of socially irrelevant information is the guiding principle. At present, rather than making genuine efforts toward radical reform, systems focus on school uniforms, school vouchers and incentive programs that bribe students into coming to school. It matters not that little if any real learning is taking place.

A presidential candidate with a real plan for education will set forth a multi- centric approach based on shared leadership among policy makers, teachers, students, parents and the broader community. Genuine reform calls for a return to basic educational philosophies, including character building, life skills development, art, music, and culture; married to and integrally linked to the 3R’s of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Students must be encouraged to critically think and evaluate the myriad of information and concepts that are thrown at them through popular media. Practical application of learning concepts into daily life is more important than ever. Focus must be given to the individual learning styles of students and educational learning models must be developed that address the needs of the whole child.

Trained, license social workers and other human service delivery professionals must play an active role in the daily lives of students. Teachers should be freed up to teach rather than burdened with administrative and social service responsibilities.
It is time for us to move from the “paralysis of analysis” toward a plan of action with a division of labor that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders. Never has the need for radical change and reform been greater. Our children deserve better than our present system.