By Christian Coleman | You don’t always follow through on them and yet you make them anyway. That’s the fun of it! They can be as serious as heart bypass surgery or as carefree as a six-gallon bag of caramel popcorn. Come December 31, you flex your New Year’s resolutions as a vision board of the ensuing year. New Year’s is as good a time as any for a reset. Will you live up to it? Only time and your gumption will tell.
The Sunshine Pearl-Clutching Brigade is back on their BS and doubling down. Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida banned a new AP African American Studies course under the pretense that it’s “indoctrination” that “runs afoul of [their] standards.” This is almost a year after the Florida legislature banned the teaching of “the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory” with the Stop WOKE Act. It’s giving unwoke on numerous levels.
By Remica Bingham-Risher | For a long time, I was making a list in my head of the writers who changed me, the ones I had to meet. I started planning too late and missed James Baldwin, who died when I was six. I hadn't yet been gobsmacked by his short story “Sonny’s Blues” then, but read my way through his whole milieu my freshman year of college. I met Toni Morrison (thank goodness) but didn’t get to ask her questions, flanked as she was by other booklovers. Who I regret missing the most is August Wilson, as lines from “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” and “Jitney” still wake me up some nights.
Look how fast holiday season crept up on us. Where did 2022 go? Well, now’s the time to hunt for gifts for the loved ones in your life. Save 30% on everything at beacon.org through December 31 using code SPARKJOY30! Scroll down and you’ll see some selections to give you ideas.
A Q&A with Remica Bingham-Risher | I actually never contemplated writing a book of nonfiction. When I started interviewing Black poets I admired, I did imagine that one day, I’d compile all those interviews. But those would be testaments to the things they were doing in the craft; it wouldn’t have much to do with me. So, it’s interesting that, over time, all the things they taught me kind of melded into this hybrid text, but I couldn’t have imagined it for myself. I’m very grateful.
It has not gotten any easier for educators. If the pandemic was not enough, many are picking up the slack for unfilled job openings, riding on the fumes of burnout, and consequently, leaving the profession or retiring early since the start of COVID. Which goes to show how much they are unthanked and undervalued for all they do to nurture wisdom, curiosity, and critical thinking in students at a time when societal consensus at large would rather shepherd us toward an uneducated nation. We need to show up for them!