Black Male Educators: The Endgame

Black Male Educators: The Endgame

Teachers as a whole are vastly underpaid, Black male educators are often in unsupportive environments, and the profession isn’t promoted (or respected) as a viable option in the canon of “careers.” 

So why stay? How do we ask others to come? What are the conditions we can create, right where we are to make this seismic shift? Here are seven reasons that I’ve come up with (feel free to add more!)…

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Liberating Structures: Why Black Male Educators Leave the Field (part 1)

Liberating Structures: Why Black Male Educators Leave the Field (part 1)

The structures and systems are shackles. We have to remind ourselves that we the people are the system. Our participation keeps the gears turning.

It’s time we break the shackles!

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Black History Today: Rashad Norris, more than meets the eye...

Black History Today: Rashad Norris, more than meets the eye...

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: Cal Bonner, a true artist blazing his own trail

Black History Today: Cal Bonner, a true artist blazing his own trail

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: Justin Cheadle, lifting others up to change their lives

Black History Today: Justin Cheadle, lifting others up to change their lives

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen, creating space for brilliance

Black History Today: Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen, creating space for brilliance

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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The Full Series: Black History Today 2018, by Marcus Harden

The Full Series: Black History Today 2018, by Marcus Harden

I want to thank all who allowed me to honor and showcase them for Black History Month. The daily posts started as just a personal letter to people whom I believe to be truly amazing. We often wait too long to tell people what we think of them and their effects on us and our lives.

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Black History Today: Darnell Lamont Walker, activist thought leader and throwback artist

Black History Today: Darnell Lamont Walker, activist thought leader and throwback artist

A stumble happens in adulthood that begins to limit our imaginations about who we are in the world. We lose the spirit of adventure, the thrill of seeking what is new. We’re told to grow up and accept whatever it is “adulthood” brings.

We sometimes become afraid to be critical and especially to be criticized. One person who inspires the exact opposite is Darnell Lamont Walker. Darnell is authentically his unique self, not only marching to his own beat and drum, but shifting the band into an orchestra or into a hip-hop symphony if he so desires.

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Black History Today: Three men living their values with quiet integrity

Black History Today: Three men living their values with quiet integrity

The narrative rarely connects the words Love and Black Men, together. Love in the true agape and philo sense has been the cornerstone of the Black community. It is shown through time, it’s is shown through living your values. It is shown through example.

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Black History Today: Jerrell Davis, an unsung revolutionary

Black History Today: Jerrell Davis, an unsung revolutionary

Many people speak of narrative change but are often afraid to be in the trenches. It takes an ecosystem to create change, yet often times those who are the champions for and by the people get overlooked, their revolutionary presence lost in photo ops and small victories.

Yet it was once said that you can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution. One man that embodies the revolutionary and the revolution is Jerrell G. Davis.

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Black History Today: Chris Chatmon, using his gift in service of the Kings and Queens

Black History Today: Chris Chatmon, using his gift in service of the Kings and Queens

One of the greatest gifts, if not the greatest, is walking alongside someone else and encouraging them as they uncover their own gift. Then finding another and another to walk beside, giving the gift of being a gift, in service to others.

To do this with people is work, but very doable. To do this and begin to create systemic and institutional change, that is a gift in and within itself. When I think about people who hold that gift, brotha Chris Chatmon comes to mind.

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Black History Today: Keith B. Wheeler, sharing his message of H.O.P.E.

Black History Today: Keith B. Wheeler, sharing his message of H.O.P.E.

From the streets of Seattle that many don’t even know exist, to finding himself at Washington State University (the one mistake we can’t forgive him for 😂), to becoming a teacher on the rise back home in the neighborhoods he walked, realizing that there was more and a call to his life.

Keith B. Wheeler now lives in the hope that he espouses, traveling the country and giving to others the gift that has been given to him, never stopping short of acknowledging his own flaws and blemishes, while making sure to point out that it's those things that make us unique.

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Black History Today: Cornelius Minor, passionate educator teaching reading as a pathway to liberation

Black History Today: Cornelius Minor, passionate educator teaching reading as a pathway to liberation

If you’ve been fortunate enough to be successful in spaces, you know for people of color, especially Black men, the higher up you climb the lonelier it tends to get.

Ten years ago I was told I had to meet Cornelius Minor. I knew immediately we were being put on a Black professional “play date” 😂. While I respected the thought, I wasn’t that enthused.

I’ve never been more proud to be wrong.

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Black History Today: Jameel Shabazz, undercover community hero

Black History Today: Jameel Shabazz, undercover community hero

We all strive to make a difference in our community. One of the staples of the Black community, especially for its men, is the barbershop.

That is one detailed relationship that many men are more loyal to than their local sports teams. It’s a place of political, familial, familiar, sports, health, religion... you name it, it happens in the shop.

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Black History Today: Jaebadiah Gardner, who makes it his business to build community

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a pillar of the South Seattle community and a truly unsung hero, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his neighborhood and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

Jaebadiah Gardner.jpg

I love Black History Month. It should be weekly. That said, enough folks are posting history. I’m inspired to honor people who are shaping today and tomorrow. History is today.

So for 28 days, I just want to shout out to (s)heroes and heroes whom are living history, now.

First is a brotha I call my mentor. I’ve known him for close to 15 years, and he’s always had his eyes on making things better for his people (black and brown folks) without apology.

He’s got his hands on the pulse of the business and economic scene in Seattle and does it with swag. The motto is simple: build it yourself. And he’s doing that, for everyone else.

So mad love and respect to Jaebadiah S Gardner for making Black history, today.


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