The enslavement of African Americans in the United States is an atrocity that Orlando Matthews abhors and doesn't mind talking about. He spoke about that desolate period in human history during a recent two-day conference and community town hall meeting in Nashville on "Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs."
The conference was held on the campus of Tennessee State University and organized to save Historically Black Colleges and Universities from budget shortfalls, to restore Africana Studies on HBCU campuses, and to keep the focus solely on educating African-American students.
Though Matthews was one of several conference facilitators, there were others of note, including U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who conducted workshops during the community town hall meeting at Ray of Hope Community Church and emphasized the urgency for reparations to keep HBCUs solvent to avoid going defunct.
Methodist South Hospital recently hosted a ribbon cutting and consecration ceremony to celebrate the completion of its lobby and first floor renovations. The 9,500-square-foot renovation project cost $2 million and took approximately ten months to complete and no two people were happier to be involved than local artists Terry Lynn and Jerry Lynn.
The Lynns, a.k.a. TWIN, contributed a mural they painted titled "Collaboration," with Terry Lynn putting words to what was clearly obvious: "We are excited to be a part of Methodist South's redesign and opening celebration."
The mural, said Lynn, "represents the collaboration of physicians, healthcare leaders, and staff who make this hospital a vital part of the Memphis – and particularly Whitehaven – community."
The "Make The Right Call" NFL sports camp slated for the Whitehaven High School football field on Saturday (May 17th) is designed to be more than just the usual punt, pass and kick event.
That's according to the organizer, Gene Robertson III, who envisions that as the case both for the pro athletes giving their time to the event and the kids and parents planning to attend.
The camp is free to boys and girls ages 10-14 years of age. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with on-field drills in fundamentals, specific position techniques and healthy toning techniques all on the teaching agenda. A free lunch will be offered, coupled with a mentoring symposium crafted to expand the childrens' minds about the possibilities sports can bring.
It seems as if the entertainment site TMZ, which has been breaking news left and right, scooped Anderson Cooper's Tuesday-night interview with NBA legend Magic Johnson regarding the continuing fallout from racist statements made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
In a telephone interview earlier Tuesday with the gossip conglomerate, Johnson slammed Sterling for bringing him into the mess and saying things without getting his facts straight – especially regarding Johnson's work in the black community and his health status.
"It's very disturbing," says Johnson, who can be heard sighing heavily over the phone. "When you come on (television), No. 1, you should have your facts straight. I don't have AIDS. I have HIV;been living with HIV for 22 years."
In the last school day before Mother's Day, 8-year-old Frankie Munthe was eager to share his interpretation of "Mother to Son" with his classmates. He explained that it's about "roadblocks," referring to the poem's first line: "Well, son, I'll tell you. Life for me ain't been no crystal stair. It's had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor – Bare."
Written in 1922 by Langston Hughes during the Harlem Renaissance and now regarded as a classic work, the poem is commonly taught in schools, but students may not encounter it until after junior high or even college. However, the introduction of Common Core State Standards in Tennessee has afforded even elementary school teachers the flexibility to use curriculum in ways that foster critical thinking skills and require students to explain and defend their observations.
"I find that they can feel and identify with that poem," Graham Farnsworth, Frankie's teacher, said of his second-grade class, "and things that are higher level. Did they hit that poem like they would in a college class? No. But did they get things out of it? I can still teach the standards but also get them to learn a little bit of something about their history and our history as Americans."
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