NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Category: History (Page 1 of 2)

What it Means to Be an Anti-racist Teacher

We have to deconstruct the way that science is taught, the concepts that are included and the concepts that are excluded, because what we’re not talking about is also a problem—those silences in our curriculum are problematic.

Lorena Germán has worked in education for nearly 20 years. As director of pedagogy at EduColor, chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English, and co-founder of Multicultural Classroom, she has advocated for culturally sustaining pedagogy and practices. Nearly three years ago, Germán joined together with educators Tricia Ebarvia, Dr. Kim Parker, and Julia E. Torres to form #DisruptTexts, a grassroots movement encouraging K-12 English teachers to rethink their approach to teaching the “classics,” including deciding whether they need to teach them at all. In 2019, she published The Anti Racist Teacher: Reading Instruction Workbook, a resource to help educators develop anti-racist practices in their ELA classes. And late last year, Germán sat down with then-TT Professional Development Manager Val Brown to discuss the damage white supremacy causes in education—and the uplift inherent in reimagining the process. Their conversation included here, has been edited for length and clarity.

 

What it Means to Be an Anti-racist Teacher

Lorena Germán has worked in education for nearly 20 years. As director of pedagogy at EduColor, chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English and co-founder of Multicultural Classroom, she has advocated for culturally sustaining pedagogy and practices.

How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men

While COVID-19 has killed 1 out of every 800 African Americans, a toll that overwhelms the imagination, even more stunning is the deadly efficiency with which it has targeted young Black men like Bates. One study using data through July found that Black people ages 35 to 44 were dying at nine times the rate of white people the same age, though the gap slightly narrowed later in the year. And in an analysis for ProPublica this summer using the only reliable data at the time accounting for age, race and gender, from Michigan and Georgia, Harvard researcher Tamara Rushovich found that the disparity was greatest in Black men.

They were pillars of their communities and families, and they are not replaceable. To understand why COVID-19 killed so many young Black men, you need to know the legend of John Henry.

How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men

The Rev. Dr. Kejuane Artez Bates was a big man with big responsibilities. The arrival of the novel coronavirus in Vidalia, Louisiana, was another burden on a body already breaking under the load. Bates was in his 10th year with the Vidalia Police Department, assigned as a resource officer to the upper elementary school.

How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering

In the 1930s, federal officials redlined these neighborhoods in Richmond, Va., marking them as risky investments because residents were Black.

Today, they are some of the hottest parts of town in the summer, with few trees and an abundance of heat-trapping pavement.

White neighborhoods that weren’t redlined tend to be much cooler today — a pattern that repeats nationwide.

 

2020 Virtual March on Washington

For generations, African Americans in this country have faced an anti-Black pandemic. From the unjust killings of innocent African Americans to the disproportionate impact of a global health pandemic, Black people have been getting attacked on all fronts. This moment has exposed the inequality embedded in the underlying fabric of our nation.

Join the thousands – virtually-who will March on Washington to set forth a bold new Black agenda restore and recommit to the dream. The Commitment March, convened by Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, will gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., for an inclusive day of action.

The 2020 Virtual March on Washington and the Commitment March will take place on the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

This time, the Alabama state troopers saluted

SELMA — This time, the Alabama state troopers saluted.

The late John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the final time Sunday in a triumphant celebration of his tireless fight for civil rights, often in the face of violent resistance.

Mourners cheered, sang, and cried as a horse-drawn carriage carried Lewis’ flag-draped casket over the Alabama River and toward Montgomery.

When “Heritage” Means Hate

Many statues like the one next to the Culpeper courthouse were built across the South during the Jim Crow era (from 1877 to the 1950s) to intimidate Blacks, send a message about white supremacy and sentimentalize Confederate soldiers, according to historians.

Washington, Douglass Commonwealth

Times change — or rather, times are changed. Prompted by the historic, inspiring, powerful nationwide Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd — and Trump’s appalling use of the military to occupy Washington D.C. in response — Democratic leaders in the House moved forward on the D.C. statehood bill. Last week, for the first time in history, the House passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in the union. The new state would be admitted as the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth — named after famed abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass.

Why is D.C. statehood a response at all to nationwide Black Lives Matter protests? To answer that question, you’ve got to ask another: why does a geographic area in America with more residents than two states, and that pays more federal taxes than 22 states, lack any voting representation in Congress?

The answer to that question goes back long before that first D.C. state constitution draft. You could of course go all the way back to the founding of the country, but let’s jump to 1890. In that year, a southern conservative Senator gave a speech to explain why Congress chose to disenfranchise D.C. residents at the precise moment that the Black population was becoming a political force in the District. The full quote is worth a read:

“Now, the historical fact is simply this, that the negroes came into this District from Virginia and Maryland and from other places…they came in here and they took possession of a certain part of the political power of this District…and there was but one way to get out…and that was to deny the right of suffrage entirely to every human being in the District and have every office here controlled by appointment instead of by election…in order to get rid of this load of negro suffrage that was flooded in upon them. This is the true statement. History cannot be reversed. No man can misunderstand it.”

Those are the words written into the congressional record. No one can misunderstand it.

Fast forward 130 years.

After the House passed the D.C. statehood bill last week, another southern Senator took the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss voting rights for D.C. residents. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas explained why Wyoming’s overwhelmingly white population of 578,000 should have two senators, while D.C.’s majority Black and brown population of 705,000 should have zero senators. Wyoming, he pointed out, “has three times as many workers in mining, logging, and construction.”

Huh? But it wasn’t just the lack of lumberjacks in D.C. that bothered Cotton. He went on to call into question the competence of two Black D.C. mayors: “Would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Barry?”

This isn’t subtle. Cotton’s message was loud and clear. No one should misunderstand it.

Now, Tom Cotton’s speech was mostly just bombast and bluster. He didn’t need to even give the speech, because he knows perfectly well that as long as Mitch McConnell serves as Senate Majority Leader, D.C. statehood will never even come to a vote in the Senate. Last year McConnell took to the Senate floor to describe D.C. statehood as “full-bore socialism.”

This isn’t complicated. Trump tweets videos of his supporters shouting “white power” and his supporters in the Senate block enfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Black voters.

D.C.’s statehood may have felt like a far-away dream even a few months ago. But the Democratic House has now signaled its support. The Democratic senators have signaled their support. Joe Biden has signaled his support. If we build a Democratic trifecta this November, we could be welcoming D.C. to the Union as soon as next year. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s long — like a hundred years plus — overdue.

In solidarity,
Ezra & Leah
Co-founders & Co-Executive Directors, Indivisible

Why celebrating Juneteenth is more important now than ever

It’s time for America to truly grapple with its legacy of slavery.

“There are those in this society that still hold on to the idea that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about states’ rights or Northern aggression against slavery,” says Karlos Hill, a professor of African and African-American studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory. “Juneteenth is a moment where we step back and try to understand the Civil War through the eyes of enslaved people.”

 

Our Response

#WeAreDoneDying

The Mission of the Culpeper branch of the NAACP is the same as it is nationally, to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

While we celebrate the victories of the past and continue, peacefully, to expand on those victories, we are reminded by the current events across the nation that there is much work to be done.

We must confess, we are tired of fighting the same fight, over and over.  However, we do not have the luxury of resting.  We must continue the pursuit of equality by eliminating the systemic racism that continues to be prevalent in our country.  We will not rest and pass the responsibility on yet to another generation.

Over the last few months, we have had to contend with the results of inequities in both healthcare and economics in our communities; and yet you hit us with another battle to fight.  We have had to contend with the brutality and humility perpetuated towards our community over-and-over again.  We will not be compelled to respond with knee-jerk reactions.  We are going to move forward together, methodically, with a well-planned movement.  This can only be achieved by including those of all creeds, colors, political and religious persuasions.  We will continue to work with our local leaders, including our law enforcement; to whom we have worked to build strong bridges.

We are not going to accept the spread of divisiveness promulgated by a few,  determine how we move forward.  We know our worth and the strength of our VOTE.  We have remained a non-partisan, peaceful organization, however, those who have made the decision to sit back and let our democracy continue to be crushed will be voted out in our continued pursuit of equality.  As Dr. King said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”   “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

To all the Ahmaud Arberys, George Floyds, and Breonna Taylors, our promise to you is that “We will not give up the fight for equality and justice.  Yes, we are tired, we are hurt, but while standing on the shoulders of those before us, we will never give up hope.  Our Faith will remain strong, and we will never be broken as long as we have breath in our bodies.”

In Solidarity,

Sandra Reaves-Yates, President
NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058

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