Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe and Finding The Language For My Experience

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

When Chinua Achebe passed away, my thoughts immediately took me to the fifth grade book fair. There, I found the cover of a book I found interesting. Knowing nothing about the actual book, reading level, or histories behind it, I decided to buy it for what was probably five bucks from my school’s library. Shortly after the book sale, we had African dance classes for the semester. The volunteer dance …

Riot

Riot When You’re Black, Angry Need Not Apply

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

The newest truism goes: If you’re a group of color, you’re rioting. If you’re White, you’re protesting. If you’re multicultural, you’re marching. The recent so-called riots in Brooklyn serve as yet another example. For those of you unacquainted, concerned Brooklyn residents of all ages held a vigil and demonstration to protest the treatment of 16-year-old Kimani Gray, a gun-toting teen who the police filled with 11 rounds of bullets in …

riots

Educators, You Might Be A Good, Racist Person Too

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a message for good, honest folk. Read: But much worse, it haunts black people with a kind of invisible violence that is given tell only when the victim happens to be an Oscar winner. The promise of America is that those who play by the rules, who observe the norms of the “middle class,” will be treated as such. But this injunction is only half-enforced when it …

Quvenzhané Wallis on the cover of Entertainment Magazine

Quvenzhané Wallis, Matthew McConaughey, and How We See Our Children of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

I have a confession: I’ve never seen Beasts of the Southern Wild. As a relatively new parent, I don’t always have the time or the funds to make it out to the movies very often. But that’s not the purpose for my essay because, when it comes out on Netflix, I know I have to watch. I, along with thousands of others, took issue with the Onion’s satirical tweet calling …

Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

On Edu-Blogging While Negro [We Ain’t Even Supposed To Be Here]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

A couple of months ago, in the middle of a few good conversations, Leonie Haimson reminded me that I was one of the first NYC edubloggers to do “it.” By it, we all understood “it” to be using a blog to speak up and out about educational issues. People like NYC Educator, Norm’s Notes, JD2718, Pissed Off Teacher, and the now defunct EduWonkette, informed my early thinking about how best …

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 …

Discomfort is the Starting Point, Not the End Goal When It Comes To Race [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

An excerpt from my widely-distributed Edutopia article on race: 1. Discomfort is the Starting Point, Not the End Goal Discussions about big ideas like race, religion and politics necessitate some discomfort. By discomfort, I mean that people who participate in the discussion have a degree of soul-searching and reassessment about their own perceptions and biases. For instance, does one person find that their opinions get listened to more readily than …

DIAZ

On Junot Diaz, The Kennedy Center and Affirmative Action [Latino History Series]

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

An awesome thing happened today when Junot Diaz, author of the meritorious and raw The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and more recently This Is How You Lose Her, won the MacArthur Award / Grant. As a fellow Dominican, my initial thought was, “Watch how many new cousins, aunts, and former lovers he suddenly has after the news breaks out.” My second, and more important, thought was, “Wow, he …

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Some Educators Love The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

As a new father, I’ve memorized the theme songs to every Disney Channel show from Little Einsteins to Doc McStuffins. Personally, I’m a fan of Handy Manny and Octonauts, but only because my son smiles so hard at “Creature report! Creature report!” Frankly, I can’t hate on any of the aforementioned shows because I watch them pseudo-religiously. Even The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has its redeeming qualities. With characters that haven’t …

Bill Clinton: Don't Hate, Calculate

Short Notes: Educator’s Rights Tied To Women’s Rights, Again

Jose Vilson Short Notes Leave a Comment

A few notes: Erin Gloria Ryan shows three stupid ways to discuss the Chicago Teachers’ Strike. [Jezebel] The support / disapproval of the strike seem to lie across racial lines. If you’re surprised, read this. [The American Prospect via Alexander Russo] Remember when the terms “liberal” and “progressive” were synonymous? These five prove the shift. [Truth Out] Fathers really matter when it comes to children, and not in the ways …