James Baldwin

Writing Yourself Right Out Of The Burning House

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

“Dear Self (& other writers)–If you’re not writing with the urgency of exile, what’s the point? Which is to say, your writing should convey so much immediacy, fire and risk that you chance being kicked out of something with each line. Your writing should make you fucking quake.” – Airea D. Matthews Kelly Wickham shared this quote with her friends recently and also commented that she thought about my recent …

burnttoast

Race, Class, and Acceptability As A Connected Educator [Aspiring To Karen]

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

Karen Lewis matters to me for a myriad of reasons, both personal and activist. She isn’t just the leader of the Chicago Teachers’ Union and the CORE caucus that took the education world by storm with fiery oratory and community-centered energy. She symbolizes a new vision for progressive education reform, one that speaks proactively about the education deforms with the nuance that only a Black woman such as herself can. …

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My History As An Elective

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

The first result from a Google Search I did on Indigenous Peoples’ Day was a racist rant from someone who clearly has a chip on their shoulder for the minimal advances that people of color have made in this country. It reminds me of an old adage used in my college days: white history is taught as a core course in college while other peoples’ history an elective. The idea …

phillystudentprotest

Not Good Or Bad, But Kids Nonetheless

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

This summer, I had the pleasure of going to Philadelphia’s Wooden Shoe Bookstore on my This Is Not A Tour book tour, co-sponsored by my publisher and the Caucus of Working Educators (a caucus of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers). In the midst of having conversation about race and education reform, I wanted to send a message of hope in the bleakest of times, knowing full well that in weeks, …

The Nation, "Saving Public Schools"

A Progressive Education Agenda, Whatever That Means

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Nation’s “What’s Next for Public Education discussion, a collaboration with the New School featuring AFT President Randi Weingarten, NYU Professor Pedro Noguera, The Marshall Project journalist and author Dana Goldstein, and well-known parent activist Zakiyah Ansari, moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes with a few words from NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Overall, I thought it was a good primer for some …

Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin

What You Gonna Do When The Common Core Runs Wild On You?

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

“Are you ready for the Common Core?” “Survey says teachers aren’t ready for the Common Core.” “Districts haven’t been ready for the Common Core.” Most of the discussion that I’ve seen around the Common Core lately is whether our country has sufficiently prepared the nation’s teachers for the Common Core State Standards. Even in places that profess to have dropped the Common Core (and replaced them with Common Core-like standards), …

monster

On Writing Like A Monster

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of moderating a non-fiction panel for Las Comadres and Compadres organization featuring former Colorlines editor Daisy Hernandez and writer Alina Garcia-Lapuerta. The panel was uproarious and chock full of information for the burgeoning writers in the audience, some of whom already have their own works in the audience. Even though I was there mainly to let the other panelists shine, I also had the …

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Derek Jeter

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

My first real introduction to baseball was my cousin Richie’s autographed Don Mattingly placard. He put it on his shelf after meeting him thanks to the Miliken Boys’ Club in 1991. I didn’t understand the sport, and didn’t care for it since I already had Patrick Ewing and the Madison Square Bullies playing at their peak. My interest in baseball grew because I too became a member of the Boys …

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A Love Supreme

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

For the last week or so, I’ve had NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter’s words ring in my head in his response to the current consternation about NFL running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. His quote “My mom did the best job she could do. My mom was wrong” juxtaposed with “You know what? Take em off the daggone field because, you know what, as a man, that’s the …

public-enemy-it-takes-a-nation-cover

Join The EduColor Movement, Part 1 of Many

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

It’s been a few years since Arvind Grover, ed-tech specialist in NYC, and I looked around boutique education conferences and said, “Wow, these spaces need a lot more diversity.” When a few of us sat there and said we’d create a clearinghouse to rate the diversity of any conference we came across, I didn’t think we’d have much impact. How many people of color were willing to jump into spaces …