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" 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. "
" Sometimes a poem should just be about a girl jumping rope. It doesn't have to be something that is imbued with more despair. "
" 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. "
" This idea of shared humanity and the connections that we make with one another - that's what, in fact, makes life worth living. "
" When the residue of oppression and fear are compounded over time, when the historical precedents of policing and discrimination manifest themselves over and over again, the very act of waking up to a world complicit in your distress can feel like a herculean task. But black people are human beings, just like everyone else. "
" Preparing oneself for the possibility of confronting racism triggers something that slowly chips away at physical and emotional well-being. "
" Until lawmakers can disentangle property taxes from public education, inequalities - perpetuated by the Supreme Court and Congress - will persist. "
" 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. "
" My childhood closet was ornamented with U.S. jerseys of World Cups spanning the nineties and two-thousands - some of my favorite memories are from summers when, with a ball under my foot and a jersey on my back, I watched the U.S. team go up against the world's best players in the largest sporting event on Earth. "
" In many ways, the very notion of school choice operates under a false pretense - an assumption that every child has the same set of choices to make and the same places to choose from. "
" Supporting black professional athletes was taken seriously in my home. "
" The presidents and the founding fathers and all of the people we sort of raise up as false idols, we don't wrestle with the fact that many of these were brilliant men, but they were also men with deep prejudices against people of color, against indigenous people, against women. "
" Until affirmative action is described and understood as one mechanism by which to make amends for historical wrongdoing against members of marginalized communities, it will fail to meaningfully address the inequality that exists as a direct result of federal policy. "
" If you only hear one side of the story, at some point, you have to question who the writer is. "
" Schools are the single largest lever of mobility in this country. When we commit to creating and enforcing laws that acknowledge the injustice of the past, we open up the possibility of using schools as a means of reducing inequality. "
" The beauty of the World Cup is that while thirty-two countries get to cheer for their respective teams, the event also affirms a global pluralism - it is as much a festival of cultural multiplicity as it is a competition featuring some of the best athletes in the world. "
" One of the most significant factors contributing to the chasm of educational opportunity is the way that schools are funded. "
" The most important and brave thing someone can do, I think, in the face of dehumanization, is to continue to assert their humanity. "
" In an effort to create a culture within my classroom where students feel safe sharing the intimacies of their own silences, I have four core principles posted on the board that sits in the front of my class, which every student signs at the beginning of the year: read critically, write consciously, speak clearly, tell your truth. "
" The U.S. prison system, over all, disproportionately affects black and brown people, but people of color are overrepresented to a greater degree in private prisons. "
" Who has to have a soapbox when all you've ever needed is your voice? "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" We tend to think of racism as this interpersonal verbal or physical abuse, when in truth, that is only one way that racism manifests itself. The reality of contemporary racism is that it while it is ubiquitous, it is often invisible, subsequently making it more difficult to name and identify. "
" We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't. "
" Systemic racism always takes a toll, whether it be by bullet or by blood clot. "
" New Orleans taught me that mourning takes many different forms. Where I'm from, mourning is spirited. It is loud. "
" One does not read a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks with hopes that it will grant him a career in engineering; he does so because poetry helps him see something in the world that he might not have seen before. "
" Abolition seemed a fantasy when Frederick Douglass called for all slaves to be released. "
" When the power of private prisons is diminished, so, too, is their ability to engage in back-door political lobbying that has an impact on public and private prisons alike. "
" If the only people we are able to extend empathy to are those who are like us, who come from the same country we do, or who share our faith, then we misunderstand what empathy is. "