In Honor of Black History Month After last week’s horrific mass shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, it’s tempting to romanticize the past and imagine that obtaining an education was once not as dangerous of a proposition as it is now. However, the young people who led the charge to desegregate public schools in the United States also faced peril as they tried to attend classes.
In Honor of Black History Month Twenty-three years ago, I landed my first full-time college teaching position at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Originally known as Tuskegee Institute, the school was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881 to provide vocational education for southern blacks in the years after Reconstruction. Washington, born a slave in 1856, would overcome enormous odds to become the most influential African American in the United States
Last week, the tiny community of Ellicott, Colorado, suffered a shocking tragedy when Ellicott Middle School Principal Diane Garduno died in a head-on auto collision just two days before Thanksgiving. News accounts indicate that Principal Garduno was the victim of an aggressive driver who earlier had manifested signs of road rage. Garduno’s five children now face the most festive time of the year in sorrow and grief. A gofundme page
Every time I see the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, I think of my years as a student at J.B. Pennington High School in Blountsville, Alabama. I relate so much to the character Gertrude Lang, an awkward young woman struggling to master clarinet, the most unforgiving instrument in marching or concert band. One wrong placement of teeth on mouthpiece, and out come foul—and fowl—sounds. I played clarinet long before the Aflac