This presentation examines the impact of racism and oppression on Black youth culture and behavior. Strategies are explored to deconstruct racist responses to youth culture and promote positive youth development and freedom.
Don’t Call Me Nigga! Hodari Davis & Macheo Payne Lincoln Child Center 2011 Lincoln Monthly Training
<ul><li>The “N” Word </li></ul><ul><li>Carries heavy cultural and historical symbolism </li></ul><ul><li>Is the same no matter the dialect (‘a’ vs. ‘er’) </li></ul><ul><li>There is NO double standard, but good reason </li></ul><ul><li>It is NOT a term of endearment but a signal of how oppressed someone is </li></ul><ul><li>The word also represents a form of destructive resistance </li></ul>Lincoln Monthly Training
<ul><li>Flipside </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide fascination & appreciation of the culture </li></ul><ul><li>Is blended with powerful, creative manifestations of culture (jazz, hip hop, dance) </li></ul><ul><li>Serves as creative outlet and source of survival, expression and livelihood </li></ul><ul><li>Serves as a significant part of American culture </li></ul>Lincoln Monthly Training
Teaching subjects or information rather than teaching youth. Notes on a Youth Centered Approach Lincoln Monthly Training
<ul><li>Aspects </li></ul>Begin with 3 Levels of Culture – Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III Lincoln Monthly Training Manifestations Foundation
<ul><li>Aspects </li></ul>Manifestations on the outer level Aspects in the inner level Foundation at center. Lincoln Monthly Training Manifestations Foundation Today we will try to take it to another level, not yet at the foundation, by focusing in on the values that serve as the platform for these manifestations of racism in our youth. We often focus on the manifestations of institutional Oppression, focusing on the symptoms rather than tracing these symptoms to the source.
Manifestations What are the products of institutional oppression? Lincoln Monthly Training
Lincoln Monthly Training <ul><li>The Gaps of Institutional Oppression </li></ul><ul><li>The Achievement Gap (test scores, dropout rates, higher ed) </li></ul><ul><li>The Discipline Gap (suspension and expulsion) </li></ul><ul><li>The Health (mortality) Gap (life expectancy, excess death) </li></ul><ul><li>The Prison Gap (incarceration rates, sentencing, profiling) </li></ul><ul><li>The Employment Gap (unemployment and underemployment) rate) </li></ul>
Outcomes of Oppression Lincoln Monthly Training Suspension/ Expulsion Drop out Low graduation Special Ed/ ADHD Remedial/ Tracking Disease Illness Low quality of life Discrimination is psychological warfare Homicide Prison Environmental hazards Profiling Education Health Safety
<ul><li>Attribution of Disparities </li></ul><ul><li>Dominant public paradigms explaining disparities: “bad apples” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defective culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual faults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal racism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overlooks policies and arrangements: “diseased tree” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cumulative causation </li></ul></ul>Lincoln Monthly Training
Aspects of Institutional Oppression Lincoln Monthly Training Afro Phobia you don’t have to be a racist in this workshop, but you must acknowledge the afrophobic nature of American Society White Supremacy Institutions were designed to maintain white supremacy and reinforce Afro Phobia
Historic Examples Pre American Revolution Post American Revolution Pre Civil War Reconstruction Jim Crow and the Black Codes Post Civil Rights Cointelpro America Today ….. Lincoln Monthly Training
Afrophobic Origins The first “police officers” in the U.S. were fugitive slave catchers , employed to maintain an economic system based on the exploitation of free labor. In support of an economy built on the idea of White Supremacy the laws they were charged to enforce were also written with the same goal in mind. There are many other examples throughout the various eras of American history where afro phobia played a role in the development of institutions. Lincoln Monthly Training
Then: Lynching Lincoln Monthly Training Now: Police Brutality
Then: Slave Dungeons Lincoln Monthly Training Now: Prison
Then: Minstrel Show “ ..there were multiple songs in which a black man accidentally put out a black woman's eyes.” Lott, Eric. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class , New York: Oxford University Press Now: Popular Artists “ Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks…” -Dr. Dre & Snoop Lincoln Monthly Training
Cultural Distortion as Justification of Violence Minstrel, Jim Crow 1876, Birth of a Nation 1915 & Lynchings mostly targeting urban Black males Lincoln Monthly Training Slide 13
Current Maintenance of Afrophobia & White Supremacy Most Institutions have been established on the same historical principals, and have not been redefined, reformed or reorganized to deliberately undermine Afro phobia or Oppression. In fact many of these institutions are the cultural machines maintaining these inequalities. In most American learning environments open dialogue about race, oppression, identity and culture does not happen. While the institutions themselves still operate along an Afrophobic framework, there is no educational counter balance or narrative even to serve as spotlight or as beacon for progress. Its no wonder Afrophobia remains a powerful narrative that is hard to break. Lincoln Monthly Training Critical Race Theory
Manifestations of Afro-Phobia in American Culture – The Superpredator - Imprisonment and Increased Policing Advertising Industry Capitalizes on Afro Phobia (lebron, 50 cent, etc.) Entertainment Industry (Music, Film, Television, …) Lincoln Monthly Training
Modern Criminalization/Dehumanization Lincoln Monthly Training The myth of the juvenile Superpredator, John Dilulio, Princeton 1990’s Crack baby myth, immoral and beastly violent “ Tough on crime” laws target urban Black Males 3- strikes, juveniles as adults, crack laws, gang laws
Are these the youth in your institutions? (schools, classrooms, centers, …etc) Lincoln Monthly Training
Superficial Approach Treating the outer layer (manifestations) as core culture This is the Layman Approach to Multicultural Education – Its like serving tacos to teach about Mexico, or Strawberry Soup to teach about Poland. Its as if using Italian words makes it possible for you to relate to Italian youth and therefore qualifies you as a better teacher. It disregards the aspects and foundations of American culture that serve this narrative and make it possible, in fact likely for a new generation to manifest these racist associations in language. Lincoln Monthly Training
The story of the teacher who heard his students use the word “Nigga” so much throughout his time teaching, that he became desensitized to the word and its use. In fact, in time he came to believe that in an effort to relate to his students he could and should incorporate elements of their language. As a result he referred to one of his own students as “Nigga”, and justified it by saying “… they use the word all the time. Its confusing,..” Lincoln Monthly Training “ It’s Confusing!”
Manifestations In Our Institutions Lincoln Monthly Training Manifestations of Afro-Phobia in Schools Detention, Expulsion and Campus Security Mono-cultural Education (staffing and curriculum) Teacher Centered Classrooms Removal of Art and Physical Education
Eyewitness Manifestations Lincoln Monthly Training Manifestations of Afro- phobia in your Institution?
How To Combat Afrophobia Choose Critical Resistance Lincoln Monthly Training 1 – Examine your institutions – Are the practices and processes reinforcing the values you want to see in the world? Critical thinking Eurocentricity / Afrocentricy (in schools) 2 – Acknowledge and Examine your own Afro Phobia – How does fear color your perspective? What are you afraid of? How does this fear manifest? 3 – Affirm you role as an agent for change – complacency and resignation that keep the system functional. Resistance like Afro phobia is a process not an outcome. The requirement of overcoming these challenges is courage, conviction and a focus on both tactics and strategy.
What kind of Anti-Racist Are You? Perpetrators- Offended by most discussions of inequity, especially race. Denier- Uncomfortable seeing racism as an issue. Collaborator- Passive observers of racism. Know it exists and know it’s wrong but won’t do much. Resistor- Critically challenges most forms of oppression. Lincoln Monthly Training
Cultural Consultation Lincoln Monthly Training Just a few individuals to consult about Black males in Oakland Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D. Professor SFSU Darrick Smith, M.A. Director, June Jordan School for Equity Tacuma King, Artistic Director, Malonga Center Hodari Davis, M.A. National Director Youth Speaks Arnold Perkins, Retired Health Director, AC Afriye Quamina, Ed.D. Equity Institute Chris Chatmon, AAMAO, OUSD Baayan Bakari, Filmmaker Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. Professor SFSU, OUSD teacher Jason Seals, M.A. Professor Merritt College Wade Nobles, Ph.D. Professor SFSU, Black Family & Life Institute Saleem Shakir, Executive Director, Leadership Excellence Ronald Muhammad, FOI David Muhammad, AC Probation Chief Michael Gibson, AC EMS Jerome Gourdine, Principal Frick Middle Greg Hodge, Former School Board Member Organizations Leadership Excellence Mentoring Center 100 Black Men of East Bay Urban Strategies Center Policy Link Children’s Defense Fund, Oakland Alameda County ACLU Bay Area chapter NAACP, Oakland Chapter Urban League, Northern California
Thank You Presenter Contact Info: Hodari Davis [email_address] Macheo Payne [email_address] Thank you! To find out about upcoming trainings, email: [email_address]