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" 'A Talk to Teachers' showed me that a teacher's work should reject the false pretense of being apolitical and, instead, confront the problems that shape our students' lives. "
" After high school, I earned a scholarship to play Division I soccer at a small school in North Carolina, but I didn't get much playing time, which forced me to determine who I was beyond the field, something I had previously never had to do. "
" We inculcate young people with the message that if they don't succeed, it is merely of their own doing. They should have worked harder, we say. They should have made better decisions. This message is especially present in communities of color. "
" Each holiday season, as family members arrive and couches are unfolded, my household settles into a palpable nostalgia. Poorly designed photo albums are pulled from the shelves. Home videos of prepubescent siblings in matching pajamas dance across the television screen. "
" Supporting black professional athletes was taken seriously in my home. "
" America's economy cannot be disentangled from the free labor that built it, just as America's culture cannot be unbound from the black artists who cultivated it. "
" I've been writing poetry seriously since about 2008, 2009. "
" Education is a human right - a recognition of dignity that each person should be afforded. "
" As we walked through the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I pushed my grandfather in a wheelchair he had reluctantly agreed to sit in. He is a proud man who also knows that his knees aren't what they once were - that years of high school and college football had long accelerated the deterioration of his aging joints. "
" Abolition seemed a fantasy when Frederick Douglass called for all slaves to be released. "
" Blackness remains the coat you can't take off. "
" Empathy should not be contingent on our proximity to suffering or the likelihood of it happening to us. Rather, it should stem from a disdain that suffering is happening at all. "
" Silence is the residue of fear. "
" In sixth grade, my status as a Boy Scout was not something I went out of my way to share. In fact, I spent most of my adolescence attempting to keep it a secret from those who might use it as a source of derision. The off-brown collared shirt and forest-green sash were not something I would have ever been caught wearing in front of my friends. "
" My parents raised me and my siblings in an armor of advice, an ocean of alarm bells so someone wouldn't steal the breath from our lungs, so that they wouldn't make a memory of this skin. "
" Advocating for affirmative action through the prism of diversity may be more politically palatable, but it will inevitably yield insufficient results. "
" There is a solidarity that black people can find in celebrating the athletic success of our own, especially in sports where our existence is sparse. "
" The power of literature does not lie in resonance with the particular but the way that the particular speaks to a broader, more universal truth. "
" Until lawmakers can disentangle property taxes from public education, inequalities - perpetuated by the Supreme Court and Congress - will persist. "
" It's incredibly important to understand history... when it comes to inequality. "
" I want to live in a world where my son will not be presumed guilty the moment he is born, where a toy in his hand isn't mistaken for anything other than a toy. "
" Being incarcerated does not mean being devoid of the capacity to learn, grow, and think, and it's critical that prisons provide spaces where learning can be both cultivated and encouraged. "
" The benefits of prison education go beyond lowering recidivism rates and increasing post-release employment. It can also rekindle a sense of purpose and confidence. "
" 'A Talk to Teachers' is emblematic of Baldwin's proclivity for candor over political appeasement and, like much of his work, focusses on history and the American consciousness. "
" We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't. "
" Our entire lives, we're inundated with media and messaging that tells us that to be incarcerated is to be criminal and to be criminal is to be a bad person. "
" Young people are constantly absorbing - through media, textbooks, and policy - the myths of American exceptionalism; for black children, this means that what they are taught in class does not match the world that they navigate daily. "
" In my home, guns were not something to be earned or celebrated. Water guns and Nerf guns were not allowed outside. B.B. guns were not even a part of the conversation. "
" The social science on the impact of desegregation is clear. Researchers have consistently found that students in integrated schools - irrespective of ethnicity, race, or social class - are more likely to make academic gains in mathematics, reading, and often science than they are in segregated ones. "
" I'm not sure that there are days of my life when I'm not confronted with racism. For some, that may seem hyperbolic, but it's true. "
" When we say that black lives matter, it's not because others don't: it's simply because we must affirm that we are worthy of existing without fear, when so many things tell us we are not. "