Educators of African Ancestry to Obama

Educators of African Ancestry to Obama


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



below we offer ten fundamental policy recommendations to make real the promises of a truly egalitarian national education system for academic and cultural excellence and civic responsibility. These policy recommendations serve as a starting point, a basis, a foundation



Books by Joyce E. King


Black Education / Preparing Teachers for Cultural Diversity / Teaching Diverse Populations

 Black Mothers to Sons: Juxtaposing African American Literature with Social Practice.

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An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

 From Educators of African Ancestry


February 9, 2009

Dear President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,

Educators of African Ancestry is a nationwide group of educators in the public and private education sectors representing the full spectrum of pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, teacher preparation, and administration.

We have come together to promote a National Education Agenda with specific emphasis upon the advancement of academic and cultural excellence for people of African ancestry. Because we understand the inextricable connections between the best interests of our nation, revitalizing our urban communities and the educational futures of African Americans, we believe this policy agenda will benefit the entire society. We recognize the state of emergency of our national education system and strongly urge that you take these recommendations into immediate consideration to help stem this crisis so that our nation as a whole can progress in all areas of social, political and economic development.

To address this crisis, it is our contention that our nation needs a new National Education Policy that views Education as a Human Right. A major goal is to include affirmative cultural and heritage knowledge of all youth and families—rather than the current curricula that may include diverse others, but remains centered on the experiences of Europeans and Euro-Americans.

“The human right to education guarantees every child access to quality schools and services without discrimination, including quality teachers and curricula, and safe and welcoming school environments that respect human dignity. Education must be aimed at each child to participate in society and do work that is rewarding.” From The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) <>

Mr. President and Secretary Duncan, below we offer ten fundamental policy recommendations to make real the promises of a truly egalitarian national education system for academic and cultural excellence and civic responsibility. These policy recommendations serve as a starting point, a basis, a foundation—not an exhaustive list of ideas, nor all that should encompass a national education system.

For the well being of the entire nation, but also in the particular interest of students of African ancestry and other underserved students of color, we call upon you, President Obama and Secretary Duncan, to introduce an Education Rights Act whose purpose shall be to repeal and replace the NCLB legislation with a national policy that views Education as a Human Right and therefore, includes funding for the respective states in these policy areas:

1. Curriculum Development, Research & Evaluation: To revise curriculum locally and to evaluate revised anti-racist curriculum materials to assure truthfulness regarding the crime of slavery and post-slavery in America, and to engage in research to evaluate the relationship among anti-racist curriculum, pedagogy and student achievement.

2. Teacher Training/Methodology and Leadership Training: To prepare teachers at undergraduate and post-graduate levels to teach the revised curriculum; to help educators understand their own biases toward students of African ancestry and other underserved students of color and the effects of those biases on student achievement.

3. Green Schools for All: To provide for the building of new and the repair of old schools in urban, suburban and rural areas that will become “State-of-the-Art” Green schools fully equipped with technology and meaningful curricula to prepare all students for productive work, healthy living and civic responsibility as global citizens. This includes pre-K through high school students, English Language Learners and speakers of African-American English (a home language, which in the classroom may not be considered Standard American English).

4. Charter schools: To enact a mandate from the US Department of Education to ensure that Charter schools serve as laboratories for innovation and systematically share methodological and other successes that do not drain resources from or contribute to the demise of local public schools.

5. Police in Schools: To enact a mandate from the US Dept. of Education that immediately removes the presence and authority of the local police department-directly or indirectly-as security agents in public school buildings. Fully fund and coordinate a national program to assist students, educators and parents in creating local school safety policies and practices that more humanely address the social/emotional and safety issues that arise in schools.

6. Military Presence in Our Schools: To remove all military presence on school grounds and eliminate the solicitation of new recruits on school grounds. Military recruiters target poor communities creating an “economic draft.”

7. Parent and Student Unions for Community-Based Decision Making: To support parent and student responsibility in the education process, enact a mandate from the US Department of Education to develop parent and student organizations and to require the participation of parent, student and community-selected education advocates in all decision-making aspects of K-12 education processes.

8. Adult Education Programs: To provide adult education programs that address the educational needs of out-of-school youth, adults, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, and to prepare our workforce for democratic participation in the economy, including the new technological and environmental challenges we currently face and will face.

9. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): To strengthen and preserve HBCUs as they continue to have higher retention and graduation rates for students of African ancestry.

10. Office of Educational Equity: To establish the Office of Educational Equity to implement and monitor, conduct research and evaluate the above recommendations. Educators of African Ancestry have the recognized curriculum, models and requisite resources to assist in the creation of a new national education system.We are a highly knowledgeable and experienced group of people who are ready right now to assist!

Our children are not the problem; we are the solution!

Nobantu Ankoanda, Ed.D

African Centered Education Consultant

Ankoanda Financial and Advocacy Services, LLC

Decatur, GA 30030-4910


Sam Anderson, Professor of Mathematics and Black History

Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence

Independent Commission on Public Education-NY


Molefi Kete Asante, Professor

Author of African American History: A Journey of Liberation


Aukram Burton

Jefferson County Public Schools

Diversity, Equity and Poverty Programs

3332 Newburg Rd.

Louisville, Kentucky 40218


Kenyatta Bush

Giant Steps Youth Resources

P.O. Box 1992

McDonough, GA 30253


Carmen M Colon

Executive Director of the Association of New York City

Education Councils and founder of the Public Education Advocacy Training

Academy of New York City


Betty Davis

New Abolitionist Movement

Brooklyn, NY


Eugene E. Eubanks, Ph.D.

Dean Emeritus of University of Missouri at Kansas City and Past President of The

American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)


Stephanie Foster

Manager of Docent Administration

Speed Art Museum

2035 South 3rd Street

Louisville KY 40208


Angela Gilliam, Ph.D.

Cultural Anthropologist and Faculty Emerita of The Evergreen State College

Evergreen, WA


Denise Gordon, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

SUNY-Queens Educational Opportunity Center/York College

New York City, NY


Nzinga Ratibisha Heru

International President

The Association for the Study of Classical African

Civilizations (ASCAC)

Executive Director of Rivers Run Deep Institute (RRDI)


Michael Hooper

Founder, Roots Revisited, Brooklyn, NY


Huberta Jackson-Lowman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Chair

Department of Psychology

Florida A&M University

Tallahassee, FL 32307


Rev. Clarence Lumumba James, Sr.

Founder and President

Pan-African Christian Leadership Conference

Chicago, IL


Dr. Leonard Jeffries

Department of Africana Studies

City College of the City University of New York

Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry

New York, NY


Joseph L. Jones

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Department of Political Science

Johnson C. Smith Univeristy


Wesley Kabaila

National African American Congress, Chair

6709 La Tijera Blvd. #337

Los Angeles, California 90045


Dr. Kwame’-Osagyefo Kalimara

Kalimara Consulting

President & CEO


Joyce E. King, Ph.D.

Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning & Leadership and

Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies

Georgia State University

Former Chairperson, American Educational Research Association Commission on

Research in Black Education


Tchaiko Kwayana

National Board Certified Eng/L.A. 1995-2005

Teacher of English, San Diego Unified School District

Adjunct Professor English from a Black Perspective, Mesa College, San

Diego Community College District

Co-Founder, Sankofa Bird, Inc. and The Langston Hughes Poetry Circle


Noma LeMoine Ph.D, Director

Los Angeles Unified School District

Closing the Achievement Gap Branch

5120 Brea Crest Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90043


Dr. Shelby F. Lewis

Professor Emeritus, Clark Atlanta University

1342 Cascade Falls Ct.

Atlanta, GA 30311

Basir Mchawi, Chairperson

International African Arts Festival

English Department, Queens College, CUNY


Akinlabi E. A. Mackall,

Director of Operations

S.E.E.D.S., Inc.


Sol McCants III

Eastern Regional Alpine Developmental Coach

Parent / Child Advocate

Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence


M. Miaisha Mitchell,

Executive Director

Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council

A Front Porch Florida Initiative

1004 Old Bainbridge Road

Tallahassee, FL. 32303


Valerie M. Moore, LCSW-R

Social Work Consultant

Organizational Consultation and Training


Sandra Rivers, MPH

Community Public Education Advocate of 20+ years; Public Health Administrator;

NBEA Founding Member; BNYEE; ICOPE

Harlem New York


Zaline M. Roy-Campbell, Ph.D

Associate Professor

Syracuse University, School of Education

Syracuse, New York 13244


Frank J. Omowale Satterwhite, Ph.D

Founder and Senior Advisor

National Community Development Institute

321 Bell Street

East Palo Alto, CA 94303


Judith C. Owens-Lalude, M.A.


j. camille cultural academy

9800 Springbark Dr

Louisville, Kentucky 40241


Abdulalim A Shabazz, PhD (Mathematical Analysis)

Professor/The Endowed Chair in Mathematics

Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Grambling State University

Grambling, LA 71245


Donald H. Smith, Ph.D

Associate Provost and Professor (Emeritus)

Bernard M. Baruch College

The City University of New York

Past President, the National Alliance of Black School Educators


Dr. James Turner

Founding Director, the Africana Cultural and Research Center,

Cornell University

Past president and founding member, The African Heritage Studies Association


Cynthia A. Tyson, Ph.D

Associate Professor

The Ohio State University

College of Education- 333 Arps Hall

1945 N. High Street

Columbus,OH 43210


Debra Watkins

Founder, President and Executive Director

California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE)


Brenda Watts-Larkins

Past President, New York Alliance of Black School Educators

Retired Assistant Principal,

New York City Department of Education


Dr Benjamin Williams

Hilton Head, SC.

Former Associate Superintendent, Chicago Public Schools

Former Education Director, Education Commission of the States

Former president-pro tem, Evanston, Illinois Board of Education


Teresa Ann Willis

Independent Commission on Public Education

New York, NY


Dhyana Ziegler, Ph.D

Professor of Journalism

Florida A&M University

Tallahassee, Fl

Feel free to circulate it. Feel free to sign onto the letter. Feel free to visit the National Black Education Agenda’s website:   

In the next couple of weeks, look for periodic updates of the Open Letter with additional names. All signatories should email their info to

In Struggle, Sam Anderson

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The Fiery Trial

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

By Eric Foner

A mixture of visionary progressivism and repugnant racism, Abraham Lincoln’s attitude toward slavery is the most troubling aspect of his public life, one that gets a probing assessment in this study. Columbia historian and Bancroft Prize winner Foner (Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men) traces the complexities of Lincoln’s evolving ideas about slavery and African-Americans: while he detested slavery, he also publicly rejected political and social equality for blacks, dragged his feet (critics charged) on emancipating slaves and accepting black recruits into the Union army, and floated schemes for colonizing freedmen overseas almost to war’s end. Foner situates this record within a lucid, nuanced discussion of the era’s turbulent racial politics; in his account Lincoln is a canny operator, cautiously navigating the racist attitudes of Northern whites, prodded–and sometimes willing to be prodded–by abolitionists and racial egalitarians pressing faster reforms. But as Foner tells it, Lincoln also embodies a society-wide transformation in consciousness, as the war’s upheavals and the dynamic new roles played by African-Americans made previously unthinkable claims of freedom and equality seem inevitable. Lincoln is no paragon in Foner’s searching portrait, but something more essential–a politician with an open mind and a restless conscience. 16 pages of illus., 3 maps.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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If you like this page consider making a donation

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 9 February 2009




Home  Education and History

Related files:  National African American History Month 2009   Black History Is American History  Black Education   Afterword    Ten Vital Principles for Black Education  

Joyce King Commentary  The Dropout Challenge   Contours of Racial Identity

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