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Unpacking Motherhood

Originally posted on tmy_chronicles, phd:
The newness of being a mom, and the fullness thereof. For Carla and Tiffany. Being a mother is backbreaking work.  At the end of the day, the toys are collected and recollected, rooms cleaned and disinfected, floors swept and mopped, and the stroller unpacked of toys and books and…

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Literacy Learning in the Kitchen: Building Vocabulary, Practicing Procedural Thinking, and Learning to Tell Time

        At ages 3 and 2, Keith and Maceo, respectively, have little patience for workbooks and sitting down for long lengths of time as a means to “practice” literacy skills. So at this stage, to grow their vocabulary, build skill in strategic thinking, and support their practice of various ways of learning,…

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Using Texts to Kindle Reading and Relationships  

  Have a variety of books and materials that are immediately accessible for children to touch. Use them as a means to ignite inquiry and spark dialogue.     Kids are tactile. Having an array of resources within hands’ reach sparks their curiosity and instigates exploration, spawning the beginnings of inquiry and dialogue.  So I have…

Yesterday.   Today.  Tomorrow. Or, This is Untitled Work (A Poem about Motherhood)

  The dreams of brown mothers Murmur and hunt For the void of dark blue/the forgotten/untrue/disbelieved pocket/where their male kin and children Are snatched captive/to rehearse again/the Breaking of bones and bloom To fit Unnatural untimely graves/ Earth unearthed too early/too soon/   Too many lay assembled/in unholy work/ Becoming food for roots/hungrily groaning/ Growing/strange…

Angela 7

Changing Policy, Changing Lives: Angela Roman’s Fight for Underserved Young People

  Angela Nikki Romans works relentlessly in actualizing the promise and possibilities of historically underserved young people. She invests in proliferating pathways of success traveling from cradle to classroom to college. Dismantling policies and disrupting practices that inhibit access, opportunity and resources, she is a catalyst for change on multiple fronts, spanning classrooms, school districts,…

Montclair YWCA

A Place to Belong: A Place to Become (Movie Review)

I remember the lessons learned as both member and president of the local youth chapter of the National Council of Negro Women where I grew up. The strengthening of sisterhood through bringing divergent points of view into focus on a common goal. Learning the importance of outreach, of volunteering, to make a difference in the…

This New Home

This new home began in old faith thinning the present walls, trimming them down, hollering, then hollowing. Word by word, year by year, we sow the crossing of momentous sea from provision to provision, abyss to oasis, oasis to sanctuary, from apartment to house speak what is yet undone to become. Three years, we are…

Fela-Kuti

Finding Fela: Music is the Weapon (Movie Review)

  Fela Kuti is a musical marauder, hallowed hedonist, and political phoenix, living a life rife with controversy, contradictions, chaos, conflict and curiosity. But between the beats and bruises we behold the brilliance and benevolence of a man.   In the biopic, Finding Fela, the finery and flaws of the iconic Afrobeat composer, multi-instrumentalist and activist…

Remembering Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s words inked paper with promise, grew their branches in our hearts blooming leaf/falling leaf/from our mouths. Recitation of her poems/loving, harmonizing, scouring us to return us from dawn to night, from promise to plight and strengthen us to forge forward, inward again. tmy   I needed to hear hear her words ring and…

“I Be from The Bronx”

    I be from cold yellow snow and hot okra gumbo, Born of Father from Morningside Avenue, Mother of Charleston. As beat and breath, I dwell at 145th and Amsterdam, the school on the hill, the hills, hollows, and holiness of Harlem, Fish Fry Fridays, handholding walking to school. Five flight walk-up in-labor Mother…

NaPoWriMo, Day 27, “Write from a Photo”

    They are learning and learned. Each takes to table task of touching Fringes, folly with guesses, risk standing And falling to study more. Maceo is coaching Legs to lock and step to follow older brother, Monitor and grab and taste objects he puts down, Decipher then render them into his tools. Older brother…

NaPoWriMo, Day 29, “Unchained Descant”

  Sirens can animate deserts, even in their throats. Unflowing blood heaves songs, harboring Chanting chattering ancestors/salt water and lemon juice assault then squint untamed tongue. Blues river down from tabernacles of mountains. The pastel of past faults Saunter down to valleys of black swan song.  Awaiting. Hands blister and char hovering over the lingering…

NaPoWriMo, Day 26, Bible: The Book of Bread and of the Dead

  In turn of page and century, we are walked through lives as lessons, Chronicles weave consequences of compliance, conviction, conflict, and concession. By ancient flooding tide, grace was denied. Primal disobedience razes God’s ire Though later crimson wave betide descendants/Son’s pouring blood reclaims. In between fruited and fruitless birth of choice/and return to Heaven,…

NaPoWriMo, Day 23, “The Burning Bloom of a Kiss”

    When we kiss, our lips bloom Rouge from bruises of words that Slid deep into neglected drying cracks, Settled, festered from the fallout of fights Uninstigated, simmering behind our mouths, Waiting to not come out But be swallowed Instead.   When we kiss, our lips crumble From the weight of syllables Coming too…

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NaPoWriMo, Day 8, “Mother’s Marrow”

    Both sons were born wintered, planned predictions, One whose breath absorbed morning, the other clasped midnight. New moons. Unhurried beginnings. Untrammeled.  But, They will expire, someday, from a choice (hoped). Intentioned. Perhaps of blessed blues, promises kept, savored years choosing sonorous surrender.   It will be for motives no one else chooses, because…

I'm your teacher

Parents are the Frontline of Their Children’s Academic Achievement: A Book Review of I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother by Suzette Clarke

              Class is in session. In her self-published book, I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother, Suzette Clarke ignites a controversial conversation about the “true source” of student failure. While finger-pointing has typically designated teachers, schools, standardized tests, and standards as the source of fault, Clarke turns the finger to…

The Yarde Family

NaPoWriMo, Day 5, “Black Parents”

      As another day climbs sorely into bed, we Unfold and cuddle, cradling wonders and real   Wounds, unfurl pressures, praises and prayers. Cool Comfort folds finger by finger, cementing how we   Parents breathe into and out of the cusps left By questions never broached in school,   Asked now.* The two…

Maceo Ancestral Eyes

NaPoWriMo 2014, In Tribute to My Sons

In tribute to my sons…poems inspired by NaPoWriMo, Day 4, written as lunes.   1) Green leaf fluttering, inviting Son’s hand to ponder     2) Browning leaf corpses, Siren song Entreat for last rites          3) Maceo’s Eyes The pierce/puncture of ancestors diving, tomorrow.  

A Girl and A Gun Poster

“A Girl and a Gun”: Facts, Fictions and Fascination with Firearms

“A Girl and a Gun” instigates a discomfiting albeit necessary conversation about firearms, illuminating the fantasies, frights and fascination associated with them.  Filmmaker Cathryne Czubek gains access to the chambers (literally and figuratively) of women’s personal experiences with firearms, and with surgical precision unfolds their revelations.  Intersecting issues around gender, identity, history, politics, and culture,…

Plate by Plate

Making Memories Plate by Plate

Food is sacrament. Forkful by forkful, something old unfolds and something new begins to take its first breath. Food is sacrament. Through its creations and sharing, I am educated in how to give and bless back the family and friends that purpose my living. Family albums bloom with snapshots where we celebrate anniversaries, show thanks…

Keith and Maceo. Brotherly Love

Unpacking Motherhood

  Being a mother is backbreaking work.  At the end of the day, the toys are collected and recollected, rooms cleaned and disinfected, floors swept and mopped, and the stroller unpacked of toys and books and snacks and blankets and anything else needed for a day of play outside of the house. At the end…

Dr. John R. Jenkins

As Educational Frontiersman: One Man’s Calling to Make a Difference

On any given day, John R. Jenkins, Ed.D., can be found laboring in the fray, soldiering on the frontline of education. He is an irrepressible spirit who has embodied several educative incarnations.  As English/Language Arts teacher, teacher trainer, instructional coach, consultant, researcher, faculty member, administrator, and currently Vice President of Programs for the School Leaders…

Of Hair and Origin

In this guest blogpost, Tricia Amiel, a mother, writer, adjunct instructor and former teacher, takes an introspective and candid look into the intersection of race, identity and self-perception.  She divulges some hard truths and hurts that emanate from others asking her questions about her roots.  Then, in turning affliction into learning opportunity, she discusses how…