My Quest To Teach

December 15, 2017

Hip Hop Nutcracker – Blending of Hip Hop and the Classic Nutcracker

William and Aida, Bloggers and Digital Innovators
in Jacksonville Florida #MyQuestToTeach

Hip Hop Nutcracker – Blending of Hip Hop and the Classic Nutcracker
William Jackson, My Quest To Teach Edited By Aida C.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker was a musical explosion combing
old school Hip Hop with classical music and the grace,
elegance and power of Hip Hop dancing. The back drop
story line of the Nutcracker provided the framework
on a story that is relevant generationally dealing with
the diversity of relationships and family. Using music
to transcend dialogue, the dancing of the actors
(yes the dancers are considered actors) showed
that emotions, passions, fears, desires and love
help to form our humanity and used to tell a
unique story.
In its own right Hip Hop has cultural and gener-
ational significance, inspiring musical artistry
allowed story-telling to be told in a dynamic
and electrifying production that literally has the
audience reflecting on their memories of Hip
Hop in the 80’s.
Kurtis Blow still has a masterful way of getting
the audience hyped and providing avenues of
remembrance through the decades. The 80’s
when real Hip Hop was formed and had
audiences of all ages dancing in the streets,
in house parties, schools and even some
churches that Hip Hop as a way of community
connection and unity. There is a cross
generational connection of memories when
the 80’s Hip Hop is heard.
As the transition of background images of
New York neighborhoods and subway artwork
joined together by the concrete and steel of
those days made communities more than
buildings, they were families of people with
similar family values, challenges, celebrations
and expectations. The visual elements of
Hip Hop Nutcracker brought a visual appeal
of life in New York and a back-drop of a New
York Bridge.
The connection that allowed Hip Hop to travel
throughout New York City and across the country.
The Nutcracker has international acclaim which
combined with the athletic artistry of dancers,
gymnast and those that appear to defy gravity
if just for a brief moment excites and brings
true the abilities of youth, teens and young
adults as artists.
Building a unique musical journey that draws
in a generation that may not even know about
the classical Nutcracker story that has
many variations. The challenges of relationships,
overcoming misunderstandings, relational realities
of life.
Woven into a story decades old and combining
with not just a dance style, but a way of life in
Hip Hop.
The melodious manipulations of Hip Hop songs
and classical music as manifested by a DJ
(disc jockey), collaborated “scratches” building
on the tempo, scales and instrumentation
of accompaniment and unity.
The music radiates a yearning to connect with
the finest details related to instrumentation
on an electronic scale.
The two hour show is fun, electrifying, skillfully
choreographed and the acting is first rate even
though displayed through dancing and the
expressions of the actors. No words are
exchanged which brings a unique perspective
that means as you watch the performances
you are engaged and encouraged
to think about the events unfolding.
The human spirit is seen at such a high level
that in  the engagements, violin solos and
other events Hip Hop Nutcracker
will move you to find those old LP’s, CD’s and
even YouTube videos and relive the feel of
the 80’s and the nostalgia that only
music can bring.
If you’re a child of the 70’s and 80’s you
will enjoy the show and want to tell your
children about the simpler time when
there were arguments and conflicts that
were many times solved by dance offs or
creating on the fly raps that were
creative, innovative and allowed the brain to
flow using language not bullets to settle
disagreements.
Parents should take their kids to see Hip Hop
Nutcracker to show them the power of a
musical genre still shared around the world and
as powerful and moving as classical music.
The combination is so Dope and Lit it can carry
you way, back to a time when life seems built
on music, love and family.
Resources:
The Florida Theater
http://floridatheatre.com/event/hip-hop-nutcracker/

The Hip Hop Nutcracker
http://hiphopnutcracker.com

 Hip Hop Nutcracker 2

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January 16, 2017

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us

mae_taylor_richardson-e1464812958699
Dr. Mae Jemison and Taylor Richardson

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us
by Prof. William Jackson @wmjackson
Edward Waters College

“I’m just amazed at the shoulders that I’m standing
on to allow me to work to achieve my dreams.”
Taylor Richardson, attending “Hidden Figures”
premiere at the White House 2016

Dedicated to the past Hidden Figures that allowed
girls and boys to embrace STEM – STEAM – STREAM
and grasp new opportunities to fulfill dreams from the
depths of the sea, to the height of the clouds to the
deepest of space.
The movie ”Hidden Figures” 2016 is inspiring thousands
of girls and women to eliminate the fear of learning,
to understand the fun of exploration, embrace artistic
creativity, develop themselves as “thought leaders” and
“smart creatives.” To understand that it is ok to be smart,
gifted, talented and special. The perceived glass ceiling of
career limitations has been shattered by the flames of
curiosity to explore not just the limitations of earth’s
atmosphere and her seas, but has moved into the air less,
weightless and limitless expanse of space and time.

20161210_131333
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE of Jacksonville, Florida

The emergence of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Math is looking good to girls and women as careers explode
in diversity in the embracing of girls and women into areas
at one time exclusively open to men, white men.
The irony of “Hidden Figures” is that research has proven
that women are more analytical and able to comprehend
and apply mathematics skills faster than men. They are more
detailed oriented and specific about applying learning to
real world situations.

African Americans and others of color have been involved
with most if not all space agencies, this involvement is not
just as custodians, cooks, maintenance and other support
personnel. These positions are important, they help the
people do the jobs they to do and service this country.
The other aspect is not just as service personnel, but the
intellectual abilities that allow for NASA and other agencies
to meet with success and build a legacy through the
intelligence of everyone that contributes. People of color
have always and will continue to contribute, they have not
received the recognition they deserve.

STEM / STEAM are the hottest sectors in the U.S. job market
and has grown to international levels. Even before it became
a commonly used word the elements of STEM have been
important. Because of movies like “Hidden Figures” and others
doors of imagination and dreams are growing for girls,
women, boys and men of color and culture.

STEM does not start in high school or higher education, it
starts in elementary education labs, classrooms and weekend
competitions and events. It starts in after school programs and
new curriculum’s that teachers have a passion to apply new
and exciting ways to engage students that were once thought
slow or different, but were actually higher order and critical
thinkers, just bored with cookie cutter teaching strategies
dated from the 1950s and 1970s. Today’s students need to
be engaged and active learners.


William Jackson teaching a STEAMS
class – Science Technology Engineering
Math Sports – engaging studnets.

When I taught STEAM at an elementary Magnet it is important
that learning is relevant and students can apply their past
learning to new learning and integrate it to everyday life.
If students are not engaged mentally, actively involved, have
hands on activities and allowed to explore environments there
are lost opportunities to build the excitement to allow future
scientists, mathematicians, engineers, innovators and even
technical expertise in computers and robotics.


HBCUs are important in the education
of future STEM employees.

Many people still do not realize that STEAM and STEM run the
U.S. economy, look at the growth of careers that not only require
a college degree, but certifications. “The future of the economy
is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director
of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. Even
President and Mrs. Obama have encourage STEM education
through grants and national programs.

Parents must understand as well that their children’s employment
are influenced by STEM. Employment in occupations related to
STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is
projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022
nationally and internationally. Children now may now have to
find jobs in the U.S. and have to travel overseas, they must be
prepared to keep this nation competitive.

U.S. relationships with the world are important because if the
U.S. does not have friendly relationships globally then research
opportunities, international collaborations, joint projects and even
educational research will be at jeopardy. We cannot afford to be
secluded because the world is diversified in economic and social
diversity.
Students should be asking what their STEM futures are and how is
their current educational instruction preparing them for the future?
Parents should be asking are their children being prepared to be
employed or setup to be under or un – employed.

“One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how
we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology,
engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train
an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure
that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the
respect that they deserve.”
President Barack Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair,
April 2013

20161210_131409

Events like the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE by Mark Douglas McCombs
are foundations to engage youth, teens and young adults into
robotics, programming, design, innovation and as developers.
There are hundreds if not thousands of “Hidden Figures” in homes,
schools, communities, cites and this nation. They should be
encouraged, mentored and provided role models to spread their
wings to take flight to be unHidden…

20161210_142416
Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles
School

Parents your child may be the scientist to discover a cure for cancer,
diabetes, heart disease; your child may be the next deep sea
explorer or engineer to develop light speed, force fields or even
new fuels to power the world. Uncover the hidden talent in your child
by supporting their education, their thirst for exploration and their
gifted abilities.

Resouces:
Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics
https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2017/science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-occupations-past-present-and-future/home.htm

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
http://www.firstinspires.org/

Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
https://www.facebook.com/markdmccombs

The Office of Science and Technology Policy
https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/women

Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson
https://m.facebook.com/amightygirl/posts/1222453677790943:0

Photos:

 

July 2, 2016

Applying the Wisdom of Wole Soyinka to African Americans

Applying the Wisdom of Wole Soyinka to African Americans
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson Twitter

The writings of Wole Soyinka
have inspired millions in Africa
and around the world. He is
the first African to receive
the Nobel Peace
Prize in literature and helped
to start a literary movement
with other writers like
Chinua Achebe and others that
energized a continent and sought
to change a nation.

He has inspired those that love the diversity of
writing, not just personal stories, but of literary
content and diversity that expands the intelligence
and inspires intellectual discussions.
Raised in an environment of religious change
and political chaos along with a priority of
educational attainment and civic growth. Soyinka
was born in an era of colonization, and conflict.
Civil discourse and the drive for independence from
British rule in his native Nigeria. The violence
of a growing democracy reaching to branch out
of civil wars and military dictatorships.

The growth of writers of color and culture is
important to tell the stories of people of
color and culture. From Africa to Asia, from
South America to Saudi Arabia and from the
Arctic to Antarctica, people are writing to tell
their stories.

The explosion of writing camps, seminars,
conferences, meetups and other events are
attended by more and more African American
writers to strengthen their knowledge of the
writing process, building readership and gaining
more exposure to the craft of story creation and
authorship. Writers have a growing responsibility
to be politically and civilly active.
In the past 5 years more women of color are
writing on platforms that are so diverse they are
meeting the needs of issues unimaginable to
discuss just 2 to 4 years ago. Traditionally men
were the bloggers, podcasters, microbloggers and
content creators of the bloggersphere from the
80’s of early blogging until the mid-2000’s when
women caught on to the connectivity of
blogging/writing.  Women of color and culture have
a solidarity because of the lack of respect from
mass media. Women tackle issues that face them,
they don’t dance around them, there is a seriousness
that is felt and experienced globally.

Now women are dominating the digital platforms of
the Internet and running with content exclusively
tackling the issues that women can relate to, identify
with and share with other women no matter their
cultural diversity of lifestyle.
My writing growth is infused from listening to the
interviews of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and
other African writers who are politically, culturally
and socially active. African American students
need to be exposed to writing even  before they attend
higher education. African American students need
to apply innovative and critical thinking skills which
are gained through reading, writing and intellectual
thought.
Here are 21 ways to help the growth of African
American communities to build writers,
educators, business leaders, thought leaders,
intellectuals and help African Americans
embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.

The Wisdom of Wole Soyinka
Applied to African American Writers

“A tiger does not shout its Tigritude,
it acts.” Wole Soyinka

1. African Americans have the
potential to launch their own political
party, but are too segmented in their
political, economic and educational visions.

2. African Americans must learn to
make transformative changes in politics,
it is not about the position at the top, but
how the people are provided quality
services that provide help to families
that help with stability, equal access to
educational resources and health care
from birth to death.

3. African Americans must have a
manifesto outlining their political
vision and mission for all people
not just African Americans.

4. African Americans seasoned as
political professionals must be willing
to have a far reaching vision for
generations in the future, not just
for their personal political gains.

5. African Americans must have a
solid Brand, not one based on
reparations of past behaviors
by whites, but solid progressive
thinking to allow for growth by all
cultures.

6. African Americans must support,
praise, build on their boys and girls
academic accomplishments.
Athletics and entertainment cannot
boost economic stability, athletics
cannot influence scientific research
and development, athletics cannot
build academic curriculums to build
colleges and universities. Academics
combined with athletics builds
scholars.

7. African Americans must position
themselves to learn from others. They
must build minds that embrace
democratic concepts and principles.

8. African Americans must move
from being excited and inspired by
personalities that provide temporary
emotional excitement. They must
embrace the intellectual abilities
of its youth and build them into
social leaders first.

9. African Americans must be able
to build leaders that have the ability
to bridge cultural, economic and
educational gaps.

10. African Americans must move
away from the mentality of colonization
and the culture of slavery.

11. African Americans must break free
of the mentalities beaten into them from
slavery and colonization about Africans
and African heritage.

12. African American men
must be their models and
methods to improve African
Americans communities.

13. African Americans must have the
honesty to talk about social issues that
divide homes, communities, churches and
schools. There needs to be a platform
to discuss these issues.

14. African Americans must stop pretending
to be scared to grow beyond their abilities.
They must recognize their potential to be
greater than they are.

15. African Americans in politics will be judged
not by the amount of times they are elected
and re-elected, but by the lives they improved
from slavery (mental and physical), increased
educational and employment opportunities
and gender equality.

16. African Americans must own their own
media outlets, they cannot continue to offer
only once a week or bi-weekly news, they
must be competitive and forward thinking.
Using Social Media platforms, tools and Apps.

17. African Americans must have agendas
that focus on building partnerships within the
African American community.

18. African American businesses must partner
with schools to be business partners, to build an
employment pool from which to provide
opportunities to African American students to
gain experience, internships and offering
scholarships.

19. African Americans must grow beyond
consumers and expand into producers

20. African American writers should be
engaged in civil events, activities and
teaching the next generation of writers.

21. African American students in high
school and college should not be scrambling
for internships, scholarships and employment
opportunities. This is why African Americans
need to grow in STEAM areas to produce
the resources for children to grow beyond
self-perceived or societal perceptions for
children of color.

“Books and all forms of
writing are terror to
those who wish to suppress
the truth.”
Wole Soyinka
 

June 8, 2016

My Quest To Teach Presentations

“My Quest To Teach”
Providing Presentations

My educational journey through parenthood, teaching,
mentoring, volunteering and community activism.
“My Quest” to provide valuable and transformative
opportunities to youth, teens and young adults.

290982

Willliam Jackson
Florida State Attorney’s Office
Preventing Crime In The Black
Community Conference
May 2016
PCITBC http://preventblackcrime.com/

Need a speaker on #SocialMedia Safety,
Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying
The value and empowerment of STEAM / STEM
william.jackson@ewc.edu

 

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