“Alternative Facts” and the Humanities

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I have been concerned about “alternative facts” even before that term got popularized in the last month or two. I have studied African American culture for the past two decades, and I have learned how the history of racism was (and is) built on a series of “alternative facts”: whites are smarter than blacks, blacks are lazy, black bodies are weaker or stronger, blacks are violent, etc. These alternative facts become the narratives that shape…

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Black and Blue – Some Reflections About Whose Lives Matter

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  My only sin is in my skin What did I do to be so black and blue? – Louis Armstrong “(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue” The last few weeks have left me feeling black and blue. Recent police shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Scott in Tulsa and Charlotte have re-ignited conversations about Black Lives Matter. When I think about the events in Tulsa, I cannot help but think…

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New Years Resolution for Teachers

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Few teachers probably think of ourselves as punishing our students, let alone using writing to do so. But we do. I stumbled onto this through something my high school-aged daughter told me. Her choir director announced to her class that they would have to write a ten-page research paper if they missed the Winter Concert. The teacher was implying that he was going to punish missing students by making them write and research. I asked…

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