My Quest To Teach

November 4, 2016

The Humanity of Fatherhood

The Humanity of Fatherhood
William Jackson, M.Edu
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson #MyQuestToTeach

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Chinua Achebe, “We cannot trample upon
the humanity of others without devaluing our
own.” The Igbo, always practical, put it
concretely in their proverb:
Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya:
“He who will hold another down in the mud
must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays

“Fathers, it is time to lift our children, our families,
our culture, our communities from the mud
of poverty, death and destruction.”
William Jackson – My Quest To Teach

Watching the media and the continued deaths
of young men and young women, fathers have
a choice to be a blessing or a curse to their
children, to embed humanity into their process
of raising their families. To lead them to a life
of safety and growth or condemn them to
potential sentences of poverty, lack of
educational success and a societal voice of
silence.

Fathers are supposed to be the foundation,
the rock that their families can stand on during
the storms of life and the challenges that they
will face. The national deaths by violence of
children of color and culture are a signal that
too many fathers are not doing their jobs,
importantly too many men are not parenting,
fathering, guiding and mentoring. Too many
are talking, their lips are moving, but their feet
and hearts are standing still. There is work to
do in their communities, but too many fathers
are counterproductive and adding to the
troubles their communities are facing.

 

 

 

Fathers are influential in the social and
educational directions of their children, they set
the tones for social interaction, establishing the
direction of their children and others around
them, growing and developing the social skills
and humbleness that boys and girls developing
into men and women will need. Children are
modeling their father’s activities, mentalities,
their lack of compassion and lack of sensitivities
to their children. The father is the model whether
at home or not, looking at the communities of
color and culture too many fathers are not
involved or do not care.

Social skills are not just necessary social requirements;
they are the patterns of behaviors for survival that boys
and girls of color and culture will need to know in order
to grow in a society that is still struggling with boys and
girls of diversity and color. The directions of life take
many twists and turns for youth especially African
American youth, this is NOT another hate the system
or hate the government blog, nor is it a blog on what
the educational system is not accomplishing.

This blog addresses the responsibilities of “Men in
the Village” to re-evaluate and re-prioritize their thinking
and to be of service to their communities.
The great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe through his
writings tries to teach men that positive emotions to
their children are beneficial and “do not
fear being
thought weak as a man” because men show emotions,
they should to establish a connection with their families.

Men have a right that extends to the accountability and
responsibility to be involved in their children’s educational
growth and development. How can hundreds if not
thousands of men attend sporting events in support
of their children, but cannot consistently volunteer, visit,
mentor, support their children’s schools that are preparing
them for life in this nation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Achebe shares, “(fathers) do not show any human emotions
and sentiments so as not to be seen as weak,” are creating
un-caring societies where children are forgetting the value
of love, compassion, sympathy and honor. Men do not have
to cry to show emotions, but should hug and kiss their children,
hold their hands and provide emotional support and
mental comfort just as African men have done for centuries.
How many men can blame the State Attorney’s Office
and law enforcement if they won’t “man up” handling
their “business” and parental responsibilities in raising
their children? Prisons are not Day Cares, Learning
Centers, Enrichment Organizations; how many men can
blame the school district if they have not started the
process of educating their children in the basics of
reading, math and social behaviors at home that allow
for education in a formal setting to start. Learning
starts at home and fathers need to be responsible
for this happening.

The streets, back alleys, street corners and clubs of
our communities will teach skills that will lead to
death or prison as seen in children today, what real
father can be proud of that?

Fathers need to be involved in a dialogue that teaches
with love and wisdom, young fathers
need help. Children should be seen holding their
fathers hands, sitting on their laps and involved in
activities that build critical thinking skills, encourage
problem solving abilities and promote higher order
thinking that creates language development, increased
vocabulary and appreciation for being intelligent.

“People say that if you find water rising up to your ankle,
that’s the time to do something about it, not when it’s
around your neck.” Chinua Achebe
African American communities are finding crime and
death inching around their necks, they should do
something positive about it to make a change in their
communities. When “not snitching” is more important
than a child’s life that was taken by a bullet is the priority
the humanity has been taken away. Human life is not
valued and is less than that of an animal.
Because of continuous generational tragedies young
people of color are thereby increasing their likelihood
of entering correctional facilities, and if daddy is not
there who do kids model except who they see on the
street or movies?

To keep children of color and culture from entering
into the “pipeline” prevention and pro-action is needed.
Fathers are an important part of this effort, fathers need
to be trained and encouraged. Ronnie Cage, community
activist and national trainer for fathers and fathering skills
has encouraged fathers need training to be fathers for
years.
Parenting is a powerful force; parents have a spiritual
connection to their children and a responsibility to raise
them. Research from the University of Maryland (2000)
indicates that, “children who have fathers or father figures
in their lives learn better, have higher self-esteem and
show fewer signs of depression and aggression.”
“…children who identified a father or father figure
scored higher on basic learning skill tests and had
a stronger sense of competence and social acceptance
compared to children without fathers”
(University of Maryland Medical News, 2000).

Fact “Black males represent six percent of the U.S.
population, yet 35 percent
of the prison population and less than two percent
of teachers” Morehouse College Educational
Conference 2009.
All these have an effect on the mental and emotional
state of children of color and culture.
In the beginning man was created first to care for the
world, so men must take the lead and be a part of
their children’s lives before cemeteries and prisons
have more children
in them than schools and playgrounds.

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November 8, 2014

Building HBCU Intellect Through Blogging

Building HBCU Intellect Through Blogging
Part One
by William Jackson, Prof. Edward Waters College
Historically Black College and University

There are many writers, poets, storytellers and
intellectuals that create and share diverse content.
The content motivates, encourages, engages,
educates and shows that African Americans
have intellectual abilities that greatly surpass
entertainment and sports.
Education; the key to economic and political
growth allows for opportunities in the careers
that African Americans in the past have been
denied because they were not qualified,
certified and skilled enough.

The growth of the Internet has allowed millions
of youth, teens and young adults the chance
to express themselves through the diverse
writing talents that they have and can cultivate
within them. The events of the media are quick
to report breaking stories, but what comes
into question is the validity and accuracy of news
reports and the stereotypical language, linguistically
created coding and cultural references that
border on racism and typecasting.

The development of the Internet has allowed
content to be created on the spot to share accurate
and pinpoint information about rapidly changing
events. The recent Ferguson protests showed the
flexibility and at times unreliability of news reports,
but the “person on the spot” has a valid purpose
in showing what is happening real time through
Social Media tools that transmitted real time events.

Communities are portrayed in multiple ways that
either promote positive events or negativity in
actions and behaviors by it residents. This leads
to HBCU courses in Broadcast Journalism, Mass
Communications, and other courses of study that
dive into news events and content creation.
Sometimes the humanity of a story is not portrayed
when using Social Media to share events, the humanity
or personal side of a story should be included.

HBCU students that are studying areas of communication
must understand that their views and opinions may not
be in line with that of the main stream media, because
of this they must learn how to code switch to show
events as unbiased and neutral. HBCU colleges and
universities have a responsibility to speak their voices,
voices that are critical and should never be silenced because
historically they still represent African American communities.
HBCU’s should not allow anyone to define them or
define the AA community even those without formal
education. Education should not divide us, education
and learning can unite us and bond us. Preventing
inter-cultural segregation from happening by nurturing
future journalist that can tell the stories needed to be told
about the African American community in the light of truth.
This blog is about “Building HBCU Intellect Through
Blogging” because blogging is not confined to one tool or
platform. HBCU students need to learn how to Vblog,
Podcast, Microblog, develop E-books, develop interview
strategies, articulate for public speaking and develop
research skills. I’m saddened that when I present myself
a graduate of an HBCU and offer to speak at HBCU schools
on Social Media platforms, tools and using it to promote,
market and brand many seem uninterested or think this
discussion is not needed.

HBCU students must have a passion for writing and have
an answer to why they write. The journalist Samira Sawlani
(UK based writer) has stated “whether you are a writer, a
journalist or a reader, why do you write? Why do you read?”
these should be answered with a personal passion.
Professor Chinua Achebe, revered ‘The grandfather of
African literature’ is an“aide memoire” of the influence of
the writer, the writer has the ability to transcend borders and
fight the status quo. HBCU students whether independent
writers (freelance) or associated with a news agency can
break the traditional ideas and ideologies of culture and
color. Achebe spoke the language of courage and literature.

HBCU students must write to effect positive change and not
write for just monetary rewards. Their passion must show
through first and the praises will come later.
Achebe felt as published in the Paris Review quoted, “My position
is that serious and good art has always existed to help, to serve
humanity.” As a blogger and educator in elementary and
at an HBCU my “craft and ability” are to show my passion to
serve humanity and God. This is my personal mission:
as my blog is titled: My Quest to Teach

As a professor at an HBCU I see the need to teach writing/
blogging to my students and encourage writing to all students.
Diverse careers, multiple productivity tools, integration of
Social Media tools and platforms all work to create and
share content.
The world relies on information, data, statistical analysis and
the flexibility of wireless and portable devices to access and
share information. Students need to learn how to manipulate
devices and how to use them to create content that leaves no
room for stereotypes.
African Americans cannot continue to allow traditional media
to define them. Media is answering the questions that African
Americans
ask ‘Who creates us?’ it’s as if our cultural self
worth and history is dictated by outsiders. In America, African
Americans must learn to use the tools that other cultures use
to share information.

Chinua Achebe and others that embrace writing and blogging
show that these are powerful tools. The HBCU students of today
must understand just as Achebe, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes,
James Baldwin and others that writing is a moral obligation.
This obligation can be an act of political and economic warfare
by sharing content that is empowering and engaging on the issues
that affect American communities nationwide. African American
issues may be ignored by traditional media, African Americans
must sit down and talk about problems and internal challenges
to effect positive change.

In conclusion HBCU students should be required to start and
maintain a viable Blog and even have a Vblog and Microblog
to share information that highlights African Americans
achievements, successes and accomplishments. Others are
writing about US leaving to wonder are too many still caught
in the intellectual slavery of embarrassment being Blacks?

HBCU students are encouraged to read the works of Achebe.
In his novel “Anthills of the Savannah”; Achebe wrote,
“Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control,
they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human
spirit in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the
university or wherever.”

Lessons can be learned by HBCU students from the writers and
journalists of today; the power of the pen should be used to defy
injustices and preserve our histories. HBCU students need to
start writing and blogging to share their stories.
‘Who tells your story?’

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