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The Life-Changing Benefits of Black Teachers for Black Students

Last week I wrote a very personal post about the connections between our nation’s education and criminal justice systems. I was accused by a reader of not grounding my assertions in research, thus voiding my post’s truth or relevance. I reminded the reader that I’d written a blog post, not a research paper. However, this… Continue reading The Life-Changing Benefits of Black Teachers for Black Students

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A Personal Perspective Into The School-To-Prison Pipeline: John Is Home!

On Tuesday, October 30th, I received one of the greatest gifts of my life: After serving 19 and a half years of a 20-to-life sentence, my husband John Dukes was released from prison. Each day he’s home is a blessing. Each day he’s home also highlights the challenges that formerly incarcerated people face along their… Continue reading A Personal Perspective Into The School-To-Prison Pipeline: John Is Home!

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The Power of School Author Visits for Our Students

On June 19th, author Nora Raleigh-Baskin paid a visit to my students and me at our school to discuss her life and her book, Ruby on the Outside. If you read my blog posts regularly, you know that I am very transparent with my students and many of them know that my husband is incarcerated. Through… Continue reading The Power of School Author Visits for Our Students

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What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

Our guest today is Whitney Q. Hollins. She is a special educator in the NYC DOE, a Research Assistant at We Got Us Now and a doctoral student at C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center. Whitney and I do advocacy work together and what struck me most about her when we first met was her sharp mind. She’s… Continue reading What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

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Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

This is a guest blog from my husband, John Dukes. You’ve read his writing before in an ongoing series here at NYST entitled “Letters from John.” Throughout the series, John speaks poignantly, passionately, and truthfully about his journey along the school-to-prison pipeline. John is currently incarcerated and is enrolled in Mercy College. He had an assignment… Continue reading Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

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How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

“I’m having a hard time getting through this because of the language. The constant referral to incarcerated individuals as inmates speaks to the inhumane vantage point from which they are viewed by society. Imagine if we all were forever referred to by the result of our worst decision in life?” This was my response to… Continue reading How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

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After Eight Years of Teaching, I Wonder How Long I Can Keep Going

I love teaching. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since my junior year of high school. Till this day, my teachers, outside of my family and friends, have had the biggest influence on my life and my pursuit of self-actualization. I still keep in touch with many of my teachers and professors — that’s how… Continue reading After Eight Years of Teaching, I Wonder How Long I Can Keep Going

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Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

He didn’t want to participate in the spelling bee to begin with. The shock everyone blatantly displayed about the fact that he was a runner-up in his class spelling bee had rubbed him the wrong way and added to an already unfortunate situation. He wasn’t accustomed to the academic spotlight. He’d never been acknowledged for… Continue reading Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

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The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Is Real, Whether Your White Privilege Allows You To Believe It Or Not.

There is a diabolical, direct, orchestrated attack at work against poor, inner-city children of color. They are not being prepped for college- and career-readiness. Instead, Black and Brown children, especially those who reside in certain zip codes, are being prepared to supply free labor to the prison-industrial complex. I wrote these words as the introduction… Continue reading The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Is Real, Whether Your White Privilege Allows You To Believe It Or Not.