Martin Luther King Jr. by Marvin Koner

Style and Substance (or, At Least Three Things You Don’t Say To A Man of Color)

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Moments like this make me want to ask, “Who ASKED you?!” Some of my frustration lately stems from the perception that making something look easy equates to the task actually being easy. Especially as it pertains to the site and everything surrounding it. The design, the content, the schedule, the photos, and the accompanying branding come together as pieces to a greater vision, one that hopefully pushes others to also …

Race and Intellect, or Except for You, You’re The Smart One [Unreleased]

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

This week, I’m releasing some of the pieces I’ve written that never saw the light of day for different reasons. Here’s the second. Release Date: 12/03/2012 Dear New Teacher, A few questions to ask now that you’ve gotten your feet wet at your job: How many friends of color do you have in your circle? How often have you interacted with one, and not in a I-follow-Diddy-on-Twitter sorta way? Are …

Scene from Lean On Me

Administrators of Color: Selling Out or Buying In? [From The Vault]

Jose Vilson Jose 10 Comments

This week, I’m releasing some of the pieces I’ve written that never saw the light of day for different reasons. Here’s the first. Date: 5/10/12 Someone told me recently, “I think these kids respond better to males than females, especially as teachers.” That hasn’t been my experience, but I let them proceed. “It’s like, some of these kids need guidance or someone to look up to in school, and there’s …

Lupe-Fiasco

All Black Everything [Our Professional Selves]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

In school, I’ve developed the mannerism of using “sir” and “miss” (or misses) when greeting colleagues and, to some extent, students. The greeting puts a small distance between me and the person I address. People might take this as a sign of deference or even subservience, yet my stature and demeanor reveals nothing of the sort. Anytime people mistake my courtesy for tenderness or servitude, they quickly find my discourteous …

carter-g-woodson

Teachers Teach and Do The World Good [GOOD Magazine]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Jose

Excerpt: In light of the lack of diversity in thought and culture within our teaching corps, there’s an astounding disconnect. I don’t believe that only teachers of color should teach diverse students, but only 17 percent of public school teachers and 19 percent of principals are of color, and out of the 7.2 million-plus K-12 teachers, only about 534,000 elementary educators are of color. That number drops to 199,000 by …

FireHose

Don’t Talk To Me About The Good Old Days

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

As recently as last month, I saw someone tweet that cops always made their whole city feel safe, and #OccupyWallStreet inspired a distrust of the executive branch unlike any other. It’s probably not the first time a Black person had to say, “I told you so.” It’s also not the first time a Black person had to say, “Are you serious?” to someone, however well intentioned, riding on the surfboard …

Jay-Z's "Decoded"

Such Dummies, or Why I Didn’t Have To Decode Jay-Z Like Y’all Did

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

I finally got around to reading Jay-Z’s Decoded after reading Kevin Nealon’s voyage towards fatherhood in Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me? Rather than examining the contrasts of my literary interests, I prefer we discuss the last month of controversy I may or may not have sparked on the Interwebs with certain pieces I’ve written about the former (here, here, and here). Let me be clear: I usually don’t …

I Am My Hair, Too

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

To look as fresh as some of us brothers do takes a certain amount of patience, skill, and discernment that people don’t understand until they’ve seen it in action. A brotha first observes the movements of their barber, looking at the prior customer’s face to measure their own satisfaction. Their space doesn’t need to be perfect, but at least familiar, and the smell has to feel right. Once that happens, …

It’s ‘Cuz I’m Black, Right?

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

On this day in the year 1995, OJ Simpson was acquitted of all charges related to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. And it’s not my fault. I swear. My hands would have fit in those gloves for sure. I still don’t have enough money to hire the late Johnny Cochran. I didn’t even really know who OJ was besides the guy in the commercials and the …