My Quest To Teach

May 22, 2015

Blacks in Technology – The Influence of One Spark and Ed Spark


Blacks in Technology – The Influence of One Spark and Ed Spark
by William Jackson

Computers Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts Mathematics
“The development of content, creation of Apps, software development,
and the integration of technology for reading, science, engineering, math
and other areas of academia for African Americans is only part of the battle
to create an employable high tech workforce.”
William Jackson, Edward Waters College, Educational Technology Instructor

It has been months since the successful One Spark and Ed Spark Crowd
Funding event. The eyes of the nation were on Jacksonville as those with
dreams, ideas, goals, personal and business agendas were involved in
earning votes for the opportunity to have their respective projects funded
to move to the next level of implementation.

Group SuperHeros

The presentations of the African American participants (each year it grows)
in One Spark and Ed Spark ranged from educational software by:
A Day In The Real World (Ronnie King), to reading initiatives by Readers
Theater (Tangela Floyd and Emanuel Washington and), the implementation
of robotics by GEERS, a focus on the growing academic initiative of
STEM/STEAM that has matured into STREAM and other areas of science,
art, business and academia.
The encouraging trend is more participants are African American’s, showing
that even in Crowd Funding African Americans have viable and competitive


One of the highlights of One Spark and Ed Spark that is still being
celebrated on a national scale, the winner of the Educational Division
“The Adventures of Moxie Girl,” whose comic book concept is an inspiration
to African American girls in the very sensitive subject of hair and self-esteem.
Hair, which is so un-simplistic, men will never understand, but it’s texture, the
ability to conform to styles or even a natural “look” that Is comfortable to
the female wearer.
Natalie the young developer and her mom Angela designed “The
Adventures of Moxie Girl” comic book to address issues that many African
American girls and even women can relate too.

Literacy, comprehension, imagination and reading are vital for Blacks to
be competitive in a world that has embraced technological advances.
Too many African American children are struggling in a nation that is
still leading globally in technological evolution. One Spark and Ed Spark
have shown that African Americans have to be able to build Apps, write
with power and imagination, involved in project management, STEAM
initiatives on a grass roots basis like Arlene Cameron-Lloyd she provides
an opportunity to enhance the future life of children through STEAM workshops.
Inspiring them to dream and imagine their future careers.

In a BET survey (2010) African Americans spent about 39 billion
dollars that went towards purchasing technology. The purchase of
computers, cell phones, tablets, watches and other digital equipment
shows that African Americans are connected and plugged in when
purchasing, but what about the economic development from concept
to development?

Technology is here to stay, African American children must be taught how
to be developers, programmers and even teachers of tech not just consumers.
African American children, youth, teens and young adults need to transition
to producers, developers, researchers and they need role models and mentors.
In order for this to happen Education is the best investment to re-invest in the
Human Capital of African American children. To encourage the building
a foundation for re-investment to build children of color into future developers.
STEAM, STREAM, STEM, CSTEAM are based on the integration of Computers
Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts Mathematics (R = Reading &
C = Computers) there will be other modifications, the premise is that “applied
knowledge is power” (Anthony Butler, E3 Business Group). AA youth need
the power of education, literacy, comprehension and reading to compete.
African American children need the foundation in education to apply their
intellectual power to be involved in the growing technological changes
happening today. These changes will influence business, finance, commerce,
higher education, medicine, science, government and areas not even conceived yet.

media 2

One Spark and Ed Spark have shown that African Americans in
Jacksonville, Florida and across the nation cannot afford to be left out
and left behind in opportunities like SPARK and other Crowd Funding and
even technology conferences. The potential financial prospects are
unimaginable and have an economic potential to influence other youth,
teens, and young adults that have dreams and aspirations in fields like STEAM.

Parents need to consider the realities do they want their children involved in
STEM / STREAM or the potential of being left underemployed or unemployable.
This is a decision that African American families are making as they see
unemployment rise for Blacks, not because they cannot do the tech work it is
because they are not qualified, skilled have degrees or certifications.
Being under-employed, unemployable, too many children are close to being
un-educated because parents are not active and involved in schools to ask
questions, work with guidance counselors and industry leaders.

African Americans must increase their involvement in the creative
aspects of technology learning to code, and dynamically create content that
truthfully tells a story or shares an idea on an intellectual level.
Those involved in One Spark and Ed Spark will serve as role models, mentors,
and inspirations to others in 2016 that African Americans can compete and are
have ideas, dreams and goals that can compete not just locally, but on a
national and international scale.

Day In The Real World
One Spark
Day in the Real World” is a software-based workshop designed to give
students a glimpse into life as an adult.

GEERS is about making a difference by providing robotics education to
under-privileged communities.

Readers Theater
The mission of “Before Email” is to connect both children and adults to the intimate life held
within the written and spoken word.
Google +

Introduction of Readers Theater by Lisa Buggs

The Black Superheroes
“The Adventures of Moxie Girl”

Facebook Page of The Adventures of Moxie Girl
ABC News
One Spark

May 14, 2015


Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 5:45 pm

Town Hall Meeting


Click Image To Make Larger

May 3, 2015

The Black Superheroes – Superheroes Day Is Every Day

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 4:04 am


The Black Superheroes – Superheroes Day Is Every Day
by Wm Jackson

“I have always viewed those black men and women (both past
and present) deserving the title “iconic” I saw them as individuals
who made a significant difference for the African – American
population in American society and culture as individuals (that)
display of strength, character, and resolve, place them at a much
higher level than “super”, although “super” is the natural word to
use for people who accomplished such great feats. Just in the
manner by which they disregarded their own safety and lives in
a cause to better humanity everywhere, one would have to
create a new name just for them!” Tangela Floyd, Executive
Director Readers Theater.

Daddy Mention
Many people do not recognize the marvel of the Black Superheroes
centuries before the creation of the superheroes that blazed across
comic books, graphic novels and “funny books” of the past. Comic
books have developed beyond a cult following, they are an art
form that takes seriously the development of the characters and
their direct interaction in the communities they reside in. These
heroes struggle with challenges of life just as “regular” people do,
but are drawn into conflicts of society. Their super strength is
sometimes limited compared to their resolve to solve the
consistent problems of life itself.

Abada The Warrior
Questions asked would be how would Captain America deal with
the issues of today, from racism to police brutality in America.
How would Spiderman deal with the student violence on campuses
across this country, a student at one time and identified with
struggles with relationships, finding his own identity and his views
on alternative lifestyles, these are issues our young people deal with.
What would the Hulk or David Banner feel about the anger of Blacks
as they are treated like the Hulk; feared, viewed as dangerous
and deadly? David Banner an intelligent man, but because he is
different he is disrespected, chased and accused of atrocities just
by his appearance. No David Banner is not Black, but the same
treatment Blacks receive are seen against Banner because of the
“Hulk” within him; a green hulking monster to be feared, chased,
caged and killed. No one wants to understand his pain, his
struggles and issues to fit in with society.

Big Mama Gertrude
“Women are the real superheroes because they’re not just working.
They have a life and everything.” Vanessa Paradis

The list continues even for women, Storm of the XMen is undeniably
beautiful, intelligent and connected to the environment. A
representation of grace, strength, the essence of confidence and
self-awareness that too many Black girls do not have. There are
more, Shard the sister of Bishop who has an independent streak,
loves her brother and trusts him. Shard will follow Bishop to the
ends of the earth, to hell and back and not question his intentions
because she knows he will take care of her and even sacrifice his
life for her. How many little girls know this about their brothers or
even their fathers? To many girls struggle with loneliness, feeling
unloved by the men in their lives, ignored, uncelebrated.
Mama Duck
Black Girls struggle with identity, have to deal with colorism, drugs,
sex, and being victims of the media that portray them as potential
unwed mothers and destined to have an abortion or two. The only
way to survive is to get on a “system” of welfare and live a life of
EBT and at the mercy or pity of the government. If a Black woman
wants to be successful she has to cast away her Blackness, be
subservient of service to others even though she knows as much
or more than others. Black men and women must work three times
as hard to get one ounce of recognition and a sliver of respect.
We see the steel emotions of the outer superheroes, but the inner
emotional and mental drama is rarely witnessed. If they were “real”
these super people would probably be boarder line with some type
of mental illness. The discussion would then be Mental Illness in the
Superhero Black community.

John The Conqueror
“The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather
a glorious symbol of national greatness.” Marcus Garvey

Today, in the real world we see the stresses of life and the drama
that plays around us. The real superheroes in our lives are fathers
that are helping to raise their children every day, either in the
home or not, they are there. Despite what the media says

Nine Second Man

Black men are doing the right thing being involved with their kids.
The media will have you thinking differently, the ones that fail to be
parents we see the results in the children, they struggle in our schools,
they refuse to attend church and they reject by denouncing the morals
and values of their families because they are hurt and angry, they need
real superhero love.
Fathers can be seen in Ferguson, Washington D.C., Maryland,
Jacksonville, Philadelphia, New York and other cities. They are
protesting, not just for them, but for their children and their
grandchildren. Our society needs to see the Black man as a GOOD
man, because he has the odds stacked against him from birth,
his survival is a testimony of survival that many should respect.

Roy And The Black Falcon
There are real superheroes in the classrooms of schools across
this nation when teachers feed students in their classrooms that
are hungry, when they pay for their students field trips
because parents do not have the money, when they bring
extra clothes to school for Pre-K and K students because
mom either shows no interest or caught up in substances that
distort their parental responsibilities or her interest is in some
man that temporarily satisfies a need. Teachers that struggle
to raise their own children, and welcome others in their
communities to eat at their dinner tables, teachers that when
school is over take food or clothes to student’s homes or pay for
utility bills even though they struggle with theirs. These are real
stories because I’ve done these and know other teachers that
have sacrificed so their students can have.

Uncle Monday

The everyday lives of teachers in the classroom are not just
teaching, it is managing from 18 to 30 diverse personalities,
personal physical challenges, differentiated instruction
because everyone is not reading on grade level, is not on
math level, either is on medicine and not taking it or on
medicine and are taking too much because parents are too
tired or too trifling to be consistant and dedicated parents
to manage their child’s behavior.

Turpentine Sam

The movies are a fraction of a reflection of real life, a
distraction of the hardness and sometimes unfair situations
and circumstances life throws at us. Blacks can identify not
out of self-pity, but of respect because they have survived
and thrived. The Black Superheroes are the ones that run
towards danger to save their children, the ones that visit
their children school to make sure they are learning, the
ones that may work two or three jobs so their children can
have a better life and the ones that are not waiting on
Superman, Batman, or a SHEILD to protect them from an
evil villain waiting in the dark to steal, kill and destroy.

Princess Kitaka

“It’s a struggle for every young Black man. You know how
it is, only God can judge us.” Tupac Shakur
Across this country are Black Superheroes, some are
celebrated, some are uplifted, but too many are not
recognized for their acts of kindness, love, graciousness,
dedication, sacrifice, responsibility and accountability to
their families..
Black Superheroes are in our cities, our towns, our
communities and in our schools and churches. They are
silent, patient, intellectual, calculating, and invisible.
Some are loud, vocal, aggressive, dumb, sly, introverts or
extroverts. They are mothers, fathers, brothers,
sister, grandparents or even homeless. They are faceless,
voiceless and powerless. They all matter because through
their actions make a difference in someone’s life.
“With great power comes great responsibility”
Uncle Ben Spiderman

Group SuperHeros
Readers Theaters Actors and Production Crew

Black Superheroes Interview
Baltimore Mother Saves Son, Inspires Others
Black Superheroes from the Past
Story Line Photos

Alton Yates and Taylor Richardson
Alton Yates past astronaut of the
United States of America and
Taylor Richardson future astronaut
and Agent of STEAM

Social Media Feeds

#AfAmEdChat, #AfAmEdSummit, #BlackEdu, #BlackEducator, #BlackTwitter, #BlerdChat, #Blerds, #Blogging, #DuvalSchools, #E3CelebratesFathers, #E3CelebratesFathers: #AfAmEdSummit, #Educationrevival, #EWCTIGERS, #FloridaEducator, #FloridaEducator #2015, #HBCUNation, #ILoveJax, #Jax_Florida, #Jax_Florida @urbanjax @jaxlibrary @JaxBusinessNews ; @metroj, #Selma, #SocialMedia, @AAMitchem, @AfAmEducation, @anaturalbridge, @BarackObama, @BGNPodcast, @BlackandStem, @BlackBloggers, @blackvoices, @CNN, @DrMikeRobinson, @EducationFL, @EducationFL @MyFLFamilies, @EducatorsSpin, @FareedZakaria, @fatherhoodgov, @fatherhoodgov: @AfAmEducation, @FLBlogCon, @FLBlue, @floridachannel, @floridatheatre, @Hall4Students, @HBCUCONNECT, @hbcunews, @HuffingtonPost, @JacksonvilleMag, @JaxBusinessNews, @JaxDailyRecord, @jaxlibrary, @jaxlibrary @JaxBusinessNews, @jaxlibrary @jax_just_in @JacksonvilleMag, @jax_just_in, @jax_just_in @JacksonvilleMag, @JDRFNorthFL, @JoinBBC, @metroj, @MrDavidJohns, @MyFLFamilies, @NaturallyMoi, @NaturallyMoi1, @NicheParent, @NPR, @SaveOurSchools #FlBlogCon, @SelmaMovie, @sorority1908; #AKA1908; @advise1908; @StarJonesEsq; @akasorority1908 ; #BlackEdu, @StateImpactFl, @TeachForAll, @TeenHealthGov, @urbanjax, @vicmicolucci, @VISITFLORIDA_es, @Visit_Jax, @Visit_Jax ; @VISITFLORIDA_es, @wjxt4, @wmjackson, @YourBlackWorld. #AfAmEdChat

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