Anna Julia Cooper Forum on Diverse Classical Education

I have been hosting an event to bring diverse teachers and upcoming graduates together with Classical schools. The goal is to accomplish 2 things: 1. To provide job opportunities for prospective teachers of color, especially those about to graduate 2. to help to make classical education more diverse, in the spirit of MLK, DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Huey P. Newton, Anna Julia Cooper, and so many others who studied the “old texts” and used their philosophies in their activism and work in American society.

I have sent flyers all around the US and have been having all types of diverse students attend who are connecting with these schools. Howard students have been attending as well. Then tonight, I got an email from a student from UAPB who wanted to come to the upcoming event. I shared with him my family’s history at that college (my father and most of his siblings graduated from there) and he was so stunned and excited.

My prayer is that through this effort, little by little those of us who are joining me in this effort (charter schools and private school leaders have been attending as well) can work together to show how the “old texts” are and have been relevant to not just the African American community, but everyone. Maybe through this effort a diverse group of people, having meaningful conversations around the questions these texts inspire will make some bridges. Maybe a community of people will form that can help to educate a generation of people who can find a common ground in the old texts. I am also excited because in this process, I have been able to introduce people to the Black authors that often reference the “old texts” from Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison to Ta-Nehisi Coates even. So this way we are seeing how the texts really can and do connect us all.

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