As we start out on our #WritingRace journey

imagesWe have set out on a course to learn together.  You will map it.  Remember – think big (you can design a learning experience that will matter to you), think personal (you can bring your personal passion to the center of learning in this class), think practical (you should think about what you want to make).

Some basic “to dos” for next time we meet in person:

1.  Send me your blog url so I can start to syndicate everyone’s class blog.

2. Send me you twitter address so I can keep track of all of you on our class “backchannel”.

3.  Read and consider the Hack the Syllabus document.  Drop down any comments or notes there – next week we will start a collaborative edit of this document.  Read and consider your Think-Pair-Share 2/3 (initial brainstorming document) from our first class.

4.  BLOG #1:  Write about your growing ideas for a project for this course.  Think of your blog as a journal.  Here you are “writing-to-learn”.  (Often we discover our ideas through the act of writing.)  You can write in any style that suits you, you can use pictures, multimedia, etc.  The medium is more informal than traditional academic writing.  -Please write about your personal sense of what you would like to make in this class.  What would you would like to explore?  -Also, write about your sense of a final collaborative project that the class might aspire to as a whole.  What would be the most powerful way to connect the individual passions to an overall agenda?

Some final comments:

-I am so happy to see our course hashtag coming to life! Don’t be shy.  Jump in there anytime if you feel the inspiration.

-As I read through your Think-Pair-Share (initial ideas) I was struck by how there was consistent emphasis on visual learning (i.e. videos and films as course material, and visualizations to communicate an analysis).  In addition, there seems to be an emphasis on hands-on learning (i.e. making things, either digitally or otherwise).  You also emphasized interactivity as a powerful way to learn, and you all seemed to indicate that you learn when the topic matters to you in a personal way.  Also, some of you mentioned that the act of completion (i.e. a process with a beginning-middle-and-end) was an important part of a learning.  Keep these self-identified learning paradigms in mind as you think about what you want to do.

Some themes have seemed to surface as well: –The role of race in education;  –The issue of race as a personal inquiry (questions of identity); –The role that race plays in how we learn to write (language, power, politics); –Race in popular culture.  I think more categories (or sub-categories) will emerge as you blog for next week.

We all need to discover our shared purpose.  Next week in class we will really start to define that together.  I look forward to it!

Postin Up

On sight. Not because I like Kanye or anything. I do. And: can’t I just say some shit? And: can I just give a shoutout right quick to all of tha teachers them in tha class: kudos and mad props to y’all in y’all resolve, in the trenches. Straight up: some of tha for-realest heartbreakers I know be y’all with the anecdotes you be sharin. That and ipso facto. Forget it.

Anyway: really, though, lookin fwd to buildin and everything else we gonna do in Dr. Z’s class this semester en masse. Mostly: curious to know what and how some of y’all think of race and other related points thereof. Like, if colorblindness is a real thing, or are some people just frontin like they can’t see how black a black person when they see a black person. Or: if “culture of poverty” is a real thing people subscribe to out of laziness or being un-white. I hear culture of poverty and I think hippies and hipsterdom. I hear hippies and/or hipsterdom and I think white folks, but that’s me.

In truth, though–and on my mama–didn’t know what to expect of this class. And: I don’t know, TBH. I’m cool, really, with whatever y’all decide–and if we can get some food up in here on Tuesdays that’d be great.

Fun fact: sharks have babyteeth for skin. They also fight to see who’s born. They’re in utero cannibals like that. That’s like a metaphor for intra-racism if you can dig it.

About me now: is that Your Boy a li’l bias (read: touchy) when it come to tha race stuff–and that’s not just because I’m black–just that me don’t like it when people mean to people. And because I’m black. I’m also white somehow. “Jones” ain’t African.

An aside. I remember one day, here Dad come telling stories. He was a kid and my uncle and him saw a black woman throat cut by two white men in Boston, where they grew up. (Fuckin Boston, yo.) And I mostly remember da part when the police came and he say they just had the woman body just hang over a bucket to avoid more DNA being spilt. Now: that don’t hew to too much to what we talkin bout here with writing race, but it kinda do work as an analogy for random incursions into a random brother or sister’s culture. Like, when someone come talkin bout how “talkin black” (or: brotha talk; or: Ebonics; or: BEV) unacceptable incapable of translating anything worthwhile, coherent, or is nothin but “kill a [n-word]”/”[p]-poppin [behind] [b-word]”/”bang-bang-shoot-em-up,” “drug-dealin” lingo. Stuff is bogus, yo. And messed up.

So. It is my hope that in class this semester we come correct to each other, open the what up something serious, in a spirit of plurality, so that we, if not pulverize these evildoers, can at least stoke a fire. Mo fiya!