My Quest To Teach

December 31, 2013

2nd Annual “Courageous Conversations Marathon of Dialogues,

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 4:01 pm

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 @ 3:45 am

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 pm
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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

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