Personal Finance for Teens: The H&R Block Teacher Challenge

Personal finance was never an option for courses for me to take when I was in school. I did, however, learn how to write a check (this was in the 80s, mind you) and create a budget for my non-existent future at the time. I was to pretend that I had a swinging loft and took city transportation to my fabulous job as a Rockette dancer ....more

The BlogHer '14 Keynote Closing Panel: Intersectionality on Race, Gender, Feminism, & The Internet

Our American Christians are too busy saving the souls of white Christians from burning in hell-fire to save the lives of black ones from present burning in fires kindled by white Christians....more

The Narrative: Fannie Lou Hamer and Ferguson, Missouri

Last night I told myself to stay away from the news and yet my father picked up the remote control and changed it from the Little League World Series to MSNBC. There's something about talking to our parents, especially if they're Black and lived through the Civil Rights Movement in this nation, about seeing patterns repeated. While it was more of the same I went to bed consciously thinking of other things ....more

Teaching Outside the Box

Nearly 18 years ago I was a classroom teacher to 8th grade students and the flavor of the day was Literature Circles which I can sum up as being a Book Club for kids. Since I was new to teaching junior high students I wasn't familiar with the novels I collected in a bin from the book closet. I just grabbed several titles (some I had read, some I hadn't) and set up my classroom so that groups of 3-4 could read a book together and really get to the meat of it in small groups....more

Celebrating Girls & Women

If I were ever in the position to be a beauty queen (nope, not happening) and had to choose a platform I know exactly what I'd promote: anything that celebrates girls and women. It's not that boys aren't important and I have 2 sons of my own so I see a need for them, too. But this passion around girls and women has only been fueled in the last several years ....more

Girls & Essence Fest 2014

While this is going to mostly be a photo essay of the last few days I have to pause and thank Coca-Cola for inviting me to something that is so perfectly up my alley that I saw my interests converge all in one weekend. Traveling to New Orleans was a bit of an ordeal, but I cherished having some free time one of the days to visit my family down there and eat to my heart's content. My cholesterol would disagree with that but it was only for a few days....more

My Memories of Traveling While Black

As a child, we had very interesting travel arrangements. In the 1970s and 80s our family—from mixed race parents—would travel separately at times. We either went down South to visit my father's side of the family in New Orleans, or we drove up North to South Dakota to visit my mother's family. There were summers where my older sister and I would drive the 13 hours from Chicago with our father and stay with his sister for what seemed to be an eternity. Having grown up in a diverse area of Chicago made our visits there seem pointed. ...more
I've actually written a post here about being mistaken for the nanny. My mother was constantly ...more

Well + Good

I can promise you that I don't read as much as I should or as much as I used to read. The two years of graduate school in my 30s notwithstanding I couldn't wait to get away from reading all the academic texts and return to what I love: history books. Rather, the history alluded to in books such as Lies My Teacher Told Me ....more

Intersections at Work: Race & Gender

Regardless of intention, I have found myself a working woman who noticed, several years ago, that I was treated differently from my White counterparts at work. Since I've been in education for 20 years and have worked at 6 different schools I can safely say that this post isn't about just my current work situation. In fact, it's precisely because I have seen this play out in 6 different work environments that I can say it's not just me....more

Traveling While Black: American Memoir

As a child we had very interesting travel arrangements. In the 1970s and 80s our family, from mixed race parents, would travel separately at times. We either went down South to visit my father's side of the family in New Orleans or we drove up North to South Dakota to visit my mother's family ....more