My Quest To Teach

December 31, 2013

2nd Annual “Courageous Conversations Marathon of Dialogues,

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 16:01

2nd Annual “Courageous Conversations
Marathon of Dialogues,
New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Day, 2013-2014!” 

Inviting parents, educators, administrators and students from elementary school to higher education to
an engaging national dialogue.
Multiple subjects from Common Core, Social Media, Black Children and Black History, Social Justice and many
Relevant and important topics that need to be discussed and solutions developed. These are
interactive conversations that will require your input, your ideas, your passions and your
involvement to make a positive change in 2014 and beyond.

2nd Annual “Courageous Conversations Marathon of Dialogues,
New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Day, 2013-2014!”

“2013 Reflections” and “Forward” to “2014-15 Marathon”
On December 31st there will be diverse Courageous Conversations
that will excite, empower, enthuse, agitate and even aggravate
to encourage positive change within ourselves, our children,
our communities and our nation.

It is increasingly important that Blacks and people of diverse cultural
backgrounds understand as Malcolm X stated, “if you don’t stand
for something, you will fall for anything.”

“2013 Reflections” and “Forward” to “2014-15 Marathon”
“Courageous Conversations Marathon – 2012-2013.”
PHONE: (501) 707-0312
(206) 402-0100
(404) 439-0092;
Pin to use to call in: 119398#



December 30, 2013

Courageous Conversations about a New Watch Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 03:45

Courageous Conversations about a New Watch Night
by Wm Jackson, M. Edu.
My Quest to Teach

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to
live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of
others.” Nelson Mandela
The year is coming to a close, time is winding down to the
end of another year.  “Watch Night” or “Freedom’s Eve” is
approaching in America once again.
For several hundred years the end of each year is not just
celebrated for the conclusion of 365 days and the beginning
of  a new cycle, but the expectation for upward economic
growth, elevation of spiritual enlightenment, improved health
and higher expectations for family and cultural unity.
Few people understand or remember why there is a “Watch
or “Freedom’s Eve” in the Black community, thus
there should be courageous conversations to enlighten
and educate Blacks again about their history and what
“Watch Night”
or “Freedom’s Eve” truly is.

America celebrated freedom from slavery at 11:59 pm on
December 31, 1862.  The celebration was not only a physical
freedom from slavery; it was a spiritual release and on that
night, Blacks came together across the nation, apprehensively
awaiting the Emancipation Proclamation that had become law.
The first day of freedom was at midnight on January 1, 1863,
the first taste of freedom for many Black slaves in America.
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but
ourselves can free our minds!”  Bob Marley
The Emancipation Proclamation served as a catalyst for
change and aided slaves in their decision to seize their

One of the results of the new freedom was that Blacks joined
the Union Army and served to defeat the Southern forces by
rising up and claiming their opportunity for equality.  It is safe
to say that because of their participation in the Union military
forces, Blacks were an integral part of ending the Civil War
and abolishing the institution of slavery. The Civil War and
the ratification of the 13th Amendment eradicated slavery
on December 18, 1865.

The year 2013 is about to end and it is also the anniversary
of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Unfortunately, too
many Blacks are unaware of the historical significance.
January 1, 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the
Emancipation Proclamation.
History will come and go and so will the memories of the
sacrifices of thousands of Blacks that protested, marched,
fought, died and were lynched.  Unfortunately, too many of
their descendants will be more concerned with the latest
Jordan’s, tablets, entertainment, alcohol, parties and showers,
and toys and gifts for their children while forgetting those
that died we risk becoming victims of assimilation and association.

“If we became students of Malcolm X, we would not have young
black men out there killing each other like they’re killing each
other now. Young black men would not be impregnating young
black women at the rate going on now. We’d not have the drugs
we have now, or the alcoholism.” Spike Lee

The knowledge of the past
is vital because the mistakes of
ignorance and complacency can
lead beyond physical slavery;
it extends to intellectual and emotional
Blacks are excited about new shoes, the
latest song from Beyonce, a new reality
series or a new video game laced
with death, profanity, cultural racism and intellectual destruction.
Ask many Blacks about educational software for their Pre-school
child or creating a reading library in their homes for their elementary
child struggling to read on grade level and many will provide
a myriad of excuses for not providing these types of resources.
Parents should establish a daily uninterrupted time exclusively
for reading to develop literacy and comprehension skills.
Excuses ringing with words of resistance to educational growth
and the potential for economic stability defy logic and wisdom.
The name may be different, the time of celebration maybe
modified to allow for parties, New Year’s Eve services in
African American congregations can be traced back to
gatherings on December 31, 1862, “Freedom’s Eve.”
Is there a need for a new “Watch Night Service” or
“Freedom’s Eve?” The attention for too many Blacks
is distracted and misplaced, not directed to educational
and spiritual growth, but accessing social media drama,
gossip, profanity, bullying and the lasts music.
To respectfully honor the Black church and its foundation
in African American history, the church is the foundation
of the community. The Black church was the place for
cultural growth and understanding, the Black church was
a place for educational obtainment and many HBCU’s
were built from the Black church.
The Black church’s role in the fight for freedom in the
United States is historical, and that history needs to be
preserved and shared throughout the year and not only in

Forgetting Black history is dangerously self destructive.
Ignoring Black history is a trail to the damnation of Black
culture which leads to expansion of penal institutions,
incarceration, enslavement, and death.
“Negroes should be more determined today than they have
ever been, because the mighty forces of the world are operating
against them.” Marcus Garvey


December 25, 2013

My Interview of Malcolm X’s Daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 12:10
Tags: , , ,

Ilyasah Shabazz

My Interview of Malcolm X’s Daughter:
by William Jackson, M.Edu
My Quest To Teach –

There are rare opportunities that
allow a person to interview the
person that he idolizes and respects
in life. A man, even in death, his words
can continue to mentor, influence
Blacks to reach their potential
as a great people.
My opportunity to interview Ilyasah Shabazz, the
daughter of Malcolm X was an awesome honor,
humbling experience and reignited my passion to
be a better father, educator, mentor and community
This unique opportunity afforded me an opportunity
to get close to my inspiration that today
has influence on the minds and passions of millions
of people globally.

I have for years read books,
listened to Youtube videos,
Podcasts and blogged about
the life and cultural influences
of Malcolm X.
His passion for Black culture,
the undeniable love
for his wife and children, embracing
the empowerment of education and
teaching the historical contributions
of Blacks not just in America,
but around the world.

Malcolm X’s influence is felt even in the 21st century.
Ossie Davis at the funeral of Malcolm X reflected
on him as “a Prince – our own Black shining Prince.”

I’m not a member of the Nation of Islam, I’m not a
practicing Muslim, nor am I a closet Black Panther,
what I’ am is a man who is learning that “if you don’t
stand for something you will fall for anything,”
(Malcolm X).
Reading both the Christian Bible, and the Holy Qu’ran,
learning about the life and teachings of Muhammad
(BBC documentary)

just as important the teachings of Jesus Christ,
there is no conflict.
Collectively the teachings are heard in many speeches
highlighted by Malcolm X. Learning about loving
your brothers and sisters of diverse cultural colors
and importantly to uplift all people especially those
that are threatened with poverty and lack of
educational equality and economic along with
political in-equitability.



I believe that through education, listening and
sharing the life challenges and accomplishments
of Malcolm X this has allowed me to look at my life
and see where I need to continue to mature
and where I need to dedicate and in some cases
rededicate my life to service in my community.
No man is perfect all fall short of perfection and total
unity with God or Allah.

El Hagg Malik El Shabazz was not a complicated man,
he was a man of purpose and passion. Malcolm X was
sometimes misunderstood, feared and quoted with a
dialogue of cultural upheaval and society turmoil.
Malcolm X’s words were fuel for the engines of freedom
and independence that where also used by Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., Asa Phillip Randolph, and even Nelson
Mandela. The words were the foundation for Blacks to
wake up and take ownership for their lives, not to rely
on the government for handouts, welfare and second
class citizenship. The intensity of words and actions
where varied from each individual during the turbulent
and sometimes violence of several decades of protests,
sit-ins, marches and even political maneuverings.
Blacks during these times needed Malcolm X to inspire
and motivate them, just as they needed Dr. King, Medgar
Evers, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
Malcolm X with his words of, “by any means necessary,”
was not a statement of violence, but a passionate plea
for Blacks to educate themselves and to unify their
communities. Blacks to awaken to their diverse talents
and abilities to shape and change a world not in their
image, but to build a world to reach its potential for
global greatness and unstoppable global glory for all
of earth citizens.

In too many cases Blacks are feared because of the
greatness that Blacks do not even comprehend that
is inside themselves and their children. It seems that
other cultures see the potential, but there are too many
Blacks that are still in denial and blind to their abilities.

Malcolm X’s weapons were his words, the ability to
communicate, to ignite passions in Blacks that were
once thought extinguished by racism, prejudice and
Jim Crow laws. Too many Blacks forget that if it were
not for the words of Malcolm X, Blacks would be too
scared to climb out the trenches of poverty, they
would believe they could not learn and could not be
educated, they would accept the status of ignorance,
third class citizens, and even embrace the fear of hatred
thrust upon them.

Blacks are more than just property; Blacks are more
than just consumers of products that distract them
into genocidal killers because of music, clothes,
shoes and drugs. Malcolm X spoke of this before
Michael Jordan had his brand and Hip Hop was the
so called music of young Black men and women.

Before there could be any real change, Malcolm X
understood for Blacks there needed to be a
psychological challenge; this change had to be strong
enough to show Blacks that “you are as great as you
say you are.” If Blacks heard it enough, thought it
enough and said it enough with passion they would
understand not to let others define you nor let others
dictate where you can or cannot go.
Blacks have been taught to hate themselves, to hate
their culture, their color and their ability to grow past
poverty and ignorance. There needs to be a
“decolonization” in the minds of Blacks.

Malcolm X attempted to show Blacks that there needed
to be a “negotiable identity” (Eric Lincoln). This identity
is one of self, cultural and societal respect. The will
to be anything and do anything that a Black person
desires in the world.

The daughter of
Malcolm X ilyasah Al-Shabazz is a
example of a community organizer
and activist, motivational speaker,
and author of the book
”Growing Up X” 2002 and others
soon to be published.
Ilyasah promotes higher education,
interfaith dialogue, and building
bridges between cultures for young
leaders of the world. She is the founder
of Malcolm X Enterprises
and is a Trustee for The Malcolm X
and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

It was a great honor and humbling experience to
talk to Ms. Shabazz, to gain wisdom and a new incite of
her father Malcolm X. This should rekindle that spirit of
learning, growth and a self determination of improvement
for community, culture and personal enlightenment.

Twitter: @ilyasahShabazz

Listen to the interview:

Visit the:  Gist of Freedom / Black History
The Gist of Freedom

December 15, 2013

Sex, Lies and Consequences

Sex, Lies and Consequences
by Wm Jackson

Sex, Lies and Consequences was attended
by youth and teens
from the Jacksonville community.
This community event held at
First Timothy Baptist Church, over 100
attended representing middle
and high schools in one of the most diverse and progressive school
districts in Florida; Duval County Public Schools.

The event conducted by the Florida Department of Health of Duval
County providing a format to talk to youth and teens about the sensitive
and serious subjects of sex, relationships, STD’s, Bullying/Cyberbullying
and the physical, emotional and even psychological changes teens go
through as they mature and develop.

The event included role playing,
a mock dating game, discussions by
Juanita Forman (Girls, Inc.) on  the potential
of music lyrics and how
they could affect  relationships between teens.
Kendall McCray, BSH FDofH Duval County guided
the event with professional décor, including humor,
interactivity from the audience of teens and youth.
Kathy B. Griffin, Senior Health Educator guided
events as they transitioned from one session to
another. The staff from First Timothy
was hard working in their service to their church in setting up and
creating a atmosphere conducive to the youth and teens feeling
accepted and supported.

Discussions like sexual relationships, consequences of sex, STD’s
needs to be expanded on  a regular basis to educate youth about the
importance of their decisions when contemplating  sexual behaviors and
relationships. The options available to youth and teens in the forms of
external protection, medical birth control, education and abstinence are
available. Options were presented to youth in sexual activity in a
professional and honest manner.

There is too much mis-information
that needs to be corrected that youth
and teens are learning and sharing with each
other about sex.
Statistical evidence is showing that youth and
teens are having sex, having babies, transmitting
STD’s. This is a statistical fact that cannot be
disputed. Events like Sex, Lies and Consequences are needed to provide
resources and professionals that can speak to youth on their terms and
in their language to make a connection that creates a bond of trust and
cooperation. Proactively speaking to youth and teens before they make
a choice that will have life time consequences.

William Jackson of “My Quest To Teach”
an educator, speaker and presenter
on Social Media, STEAM, Bullying/Cyberbullying
spoke about the advantages
and disadvantages of a “digital footprint.”
Reminding the youth and teens that
their digital footprints can mean the difference between being offered a
scholarship or having one denied. Their digital and electronic content is
being watched, tracked and in some cases if criminal behavior is suspected
they are watched and their actions are documented along with family and friends.
Cyberbullying is on the rise so teens and youth must understand the consequences
of their online activity. Students were reminded that their digital content once posted
will never go away, it will always be available and accessible. Laws are changing
and youth, teens and young adults are in danger of prosecution because of being
involved in Bullying/Cyberbullying altercations. During an investigation
similar to the Cyberbullying incident of Rebecca Sedwick, those girls that
tormented her their electronic devices were confiscated. When reflecting on
this would you want strangers looking at your pictures, videos and family
photos? Having access to all your Social Media information, your families and
friends as well.

The event was hosted by
Every Woman Southeast and
supported by the HIT Team
(Health Information Treatment),
Florida Health Duval County, First Timothy Baptist
Church, E3 Business Group.
Pictures can be found at:

December 8, 2013

Black History: A Journey Too Tuskegee Airman

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 05:35

Black History: A Journey Too Tuskegee Airman
by William Jackson, M.Edu

A 16 hour drive turned into a discovery of
historical information that brought a new found
enlightenment and maturing of cultural pride.
Education does not always come from the
classroom and school
house, it comes from exposure to historical information and people,
involvement in the community, reflections of accomplishments,
acknowledgement that there still is work that needs to be done
in our communities.

Black history education is a mandate for Florida schools, but reality
has shown it is rarely enforced and encouraged.  The question remains
why do Blacks allow this? Are  Blacks comfortable enough to forget the
struggles of those before them, have they forgotten that slavery was
not too long ago and seeking an education was perilous with
potential death, amputation, rape and disfigurement,  or have
Blacks convinced themselves that they have finally arrived in a world of
total equality and equitability?

It is clear that Black children
don’t know their history and are
caught in a desert of misinformation,
mis-direction of facts and the gradual
subliminal dumbing down of their
historical importance and relevance.
When talking to Black children I
encourage them as a Black educator
to put down the video games,
turn off the Hip Hop music, change the
channel from music videos to educational programming and disconnect
from Social Media.  “To free their minds” as Morpheus  in “The Matrix”
once stated.
These senseless media distractions are draining the intellectual abilities
of Black children and separating Black families. I’m not criticizing or saying
just Blacks are affected, but Black children are in economic distress and
social challenges like homelessness.  If there is any doubt in these statements
ask a Black child in your respective city and community questions  similar
to these I have asked Black children in Jacksonville, Florida.
1. When is Black History Month, 2. Who is the first Black Mayor of your
city, 3. Name three schools named after African Americans, 4. Who was
Carter G. Woodson,  5. Who was Asa Philip Randolph, 6. Where was the
Harlem of the South,  7. Who is Rodney Hurst and what book did he write,
8. Who is the Black man from Haiti that defeated Napoleon, 9. Who do
you know that is Black and owns their own business, 10. Name three
HBCU’s and what state are they in?

These are relatively easy questions
that Black high school and middle school
students should know.  Black students
should be excited to tell you the
answers, they should look in your eyes
with the fire of cultural pride and
higher order thinking that raises them
to a level of enlightened
cognitive and even spiritual elevation.
Malcolm X, Carter G. Woodson, and
Fredrick Douglas to name a few  were
passionate about education, they were determined in their own ways that,
“by any means necessary”( Malcolm X) they would bring enlightenment to
their people.
My enlightenment came as I drove on I95 in South Carolina: I noticed a sign
providing directions to the Tuskegee Airman’s Monument. Excitedly I took
the exit at Walterboro, driving a few short miles I discovered the Monument
that gave me an unexpected chill of pride and respect for discovering this
Monument I was embarrassed I did not know was here.

The Tuskegee Monument is respectfully arranged to provide information that
displays the professionalism, Esprit de Corp and unity of these amazing pilots,
mechanics and support personnel.  Very little is actually known about the
training, development and engineering that went into the creating of a unit
that the Germans feared and respected.
Black children should understand that their access to educational resources,
economic employment, cultural  pride and unity is the result of men like
those of the Tuskegee Airman.  They showed that they had the right attitude,
abilities and talents to overcome not just the elements of aerial combat,
rigors of military service, but also fought racism, prejudice and hatred because
of their color.
To honor these men and even women for their accomplishments Black
children should learn as much Black history as possible, not waiting on
others to spoon feed them from another cultural pot, but from a hearty
bowl of truth and cultural richness that awakens the mind and
stirs the soul to be a part of something bigger than they individually are.

The Tuskegee Monument in
Walterboro, South Carolina should
be a place to stop for reflection,
dedication and honoring the brave souls that
fought for all our freedoms.



Tuskegee Airmen Monument
Tuskegee Airmen Monument

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