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  • I was thinking about Bessie Smith today, because I’m working on a personal project and I need some inspiration. And as I was designing The Black Experience in America: The Course, she brought me one of those “Aha” moments. A little more than a year ago I was in the post-Civil-War home stretch of structuring The Course, looking to illuminate the period between the botched Reconstruction period and the seeds […]
  • When I was growing up in Washington, D.C. in the '80s, identity — blackness — was a smorgasbord. Through eighth grade I went to mostly Black public schools. My mother, an artist, started an afrocentric greeting card line. My father pastored a Black church in Northeast, and beginning when I was nine years old we forged new traditions, observing Martin Luther King Day by gathering with another Black church in […]
  • The mental health of the high-achieving is getting attention lately, as first Naomi Osaka and then Simone Biles stepped back from big competitive moments for reasons many in the public did not understand. As I’ve reflected on it, the dynamic at play for these athletes —
  • Above: A screenshot from the opening of the Teaching Black History Conference Friday I had the privilege of presenting a session called “Tech Tools and Grassroots” at the Teaching Black History Conference, put on by the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education at the University of Missouri. I presented my work on The Black Experience in America: The Course, with a focus on how technology can amplify the reach […]
  • A couple of years back, before I had the spark of an idea to create The Black Experience In America: The Course, I spent a few months doing some obsessive digital sleuthing. Using public records on Ancestry.com, I was determined to see how far back I could trace my family tree.