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The Dream & The Hope Lifts Deonte Bridges To First Valedictorian In A Decade

First Obama, now Deonte Bridges. While others like Ludacris, Lil Wayne and TI were spitting rhymes, committing crimes, and yes doing time, Deonte Bridges was hitting the books at Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School.
Recognized as the first male Valedictorian in a decade, Deonte’s dedication to his education is beginning to pay off.

Soaring high and sometimes emotional about his accomplishment through difficult if not almost impossible times, Deonte Bridges moved the audience with his Valedictorian speech before fellow graduates, faculty, staff and parents at Booker T. Washington High School’s graduation ceremony on May 28, 2010, at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.

Take a listen to his speech and spread this inspiration to others.

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    Posted 4 years, 3 months ago.

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    People Get Ready For Michael Baisden’s One Million Mentors Tour


    Inspired by the senseless beating death of Derrion Albert in hometown of Chicago’s south side, radio personality Michael Baisden has embarked on a 70 cities tour entitled the 1 Million Mentors.

    In each city the charismatic radio host of the syndicated Michael Baisden radio show hopes to encouraged people especially African American males to get involved locally in a mentoring program by either becoming a mentor or donating money to local mentoring organizations. Through his foundation he is donating $5,000 to a program located in each city he visits.

    Mr Baisden who is also a best selling author rose to fame with his unshakable leadership and national support of the Jena 6

    Febone1960.net was invited to observe the tour which is sponsored by the 2010 U.S. Censors.

    The statistics cited by Big Brothers Big Sisters one of the partners with Baisden’s mentoring initiative was shocking. The following statistics are for one city only. Serving over 2100 kids last year (56% African American, 15% Hispanics), the Hillsborough County, Florida organization has a waiting list of over 800 kids. Seventy percent of that 800 consist of males (42% African American; 24% African American females; 8% Hispanic boys and 4% Hispanic girls). Only five percent of Big Brothers in that locale are African Americans. Although its a little better, African American women in Hillsborough county are not stepping up to the plate either. Only fifteen percent of Big Sisters are African Americans.

    On the Hispanic side, the numbers for Hispanic Big Brothers and Sisters are 4% and 6% respectively.

    100 of these kids avoided involvement with juvenile justice, 91% improved their school behavior, 96% improved their school attendance, and 98% were promoted to the next grade level.

    Because it cost $1000 per year per match, the matching process is a long one which make the kids safety a top priority. Each mentor must undergo a serious background check which includes exploring whether a criminal background exist with the potential big brother or big sister. Consistency is also a major factor in the selection and matching process.

    At this particular meeting, a High School teen spoke of scoring high on her SAT as she looked forward to attending College. A year ago, she did not see much promise in her life and attempted to end. She spoke to how a mentor at the Academy Of Hope helped her realize that she was somebody special and her life was worth living.

    Too bad and so sad that Nadia Brianne Matthews a softball superstar was not come to the same conclusion. Matthews who as sophomore already had a full college scholarship to attend sports power house Arizona took her own life after an uneventful softball practice.

    Unlike the Academy of Hope teen, Matthews lived in a middle class neighborhood with two caring and attentive parents.

    Both of these young ladies reminds me of the Febone1960.net Conversations With Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, Malcolm X, oldest daughter. During that conversation, Ms Shabazz indicated that all kids are at risk.

    Not only is a mind a terrible thing to waste, but a life loss to suicide is also a terrible thing to waste.

    Our children are at risk and we need to step up to the plate to save them by supporting Baisden’s mentoring initiative.

    Take a look at the clip above for highlights of the Baisden tour which includes donations made to the mentoring cause.

    For more information about 1 Million Mentors Tour or how you can get involved please go to MichaelBaisden.com

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      Posted 4 years, 7 months ago.

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      The Spotswood Bolling case, was not the only litigation pertaining to the education of African American children within our Nation’s Capitol.

      In 1946, Louise Miller requested that her five year old deaf son, Kenneth be allowed to attend the Kendall School
      In the pre civil War year of 1856, Kendall was known as the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf, Dumb, and blind.

      The school was established Amos Kendall in the District of Columbia and incorporated by acts of Congress on Feb 16, 1857.

      Kendall who served as the U.S. Postmaster under Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren secured the passage of another act which granted an allowance of $150.00 for the maintenance and tuition of each child received by the institution from the District of Columbia.

      Edward Miner Gallaudet, the son of a deaf mother was given the position of Superintendent of the institution. Gallaudet’s father, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet co-founded the first American School for the deaf in Hartford, Conn in 1817.

      The school admitted and educated black deaf student until the rendering of the Plessy decision in 1896. Although the black and white students had separate sleeping and eating accommodations, the students were taught together in the classroom. This drew complaints from the white parents. The parental objections deteriorated the cordial relationship between the students.

      The harassment of the black students by white students quickly eroded the ability of the co-existence of the races at Kendall.

      Compelled to take action, Gallaudet approached Senator Francis Cockrell, from Missouri. The senator offered assistance by obtaining congressional legislation on March 3, 1905 that provided for the transfer of the black students to the Maryland School for Colored Deaf Mutes in Overlea, Maryland. The school for the colored was located within the physical structure of the Maryland School for the Blind.

      The legislation which authorized the education of the deaf black District of Columbia pupils at the Maryland facility also provided $5,000.00 or such thereof that may be necessary to cover the maintenance and tuition of the black students from the District of Columbia.

      In a nutshell, the legislation had removed the black deaf and blind students from an integrated school within the borders of our Nation’s Capitol without providing equal accommodations therein.

      Mrs. Miller’s request to have Kenneth admitted to Kendall was denied. She then asked that the young lad be educated at the expense of the District of Columbia at the prestigious Pennsylvania School for the deaf in Mount Airy Pennsylvania.

      Founded in 1820, the Pennsylvania facility was an integrated institution that accepted out of state students.
      The congressional appropriation act of 3/3/1905 allowed for the support of the black District of Columbia students at facilities other than the Maryland school providing that the student possessed some special needs that could not be met at the Maryland facility. Kenneth was found to have no special needs.

      The admission committee reviewing admissions for the Maryland facility thought that Miller’s son was too young for acceptance. Additionally, there were no vacancies at the facility which also had a long waiting list.

      Kenneth could not be educated at the Kendall School because of his race. Nor was he able to start his education because of his age and the lack of space. Further his education at the Pennsylvania facility would not be sponsored by the District of Columbia because he did not possess any special needs.

      Louise Miller was employed as a statistical clerk at the Census Department and her husband, Luther Miller was a District of Columbia police officer. Together they were determined to provide the best educational opportunities for all their children.

      The Millers who had several deaf children believed that an early educational start was a necessary for deaf children to excel. Therefore, from 1947 to 1948 the Miller’s engaged the services of a private tutor at $5.00 per hour to provide Kenneth with the educational foundation they believed was needed.

      In 1949 at the age of 8, The Millers sent Kenneth to the Pennsylvania facility at their own expense.
      The institution was a residential facility; therefore, Kenneth was required to board there.

      Before enrolling their son at the Pennsylvania facility, the Millers visited the Overlea facility and found that the condition of the school to be unacceptable. I was shocked at the rundown physical plant and the poor system and I could not leave him there.

      More importantly, at the Maryland facility children could only communicated by sign language or by writing. Students at the Pennsylvania School of the Deaf were instructed using the oral method, which was considered a more advanced method of instruction during that period.

      The plight of the deaf students living inside the District of Columbia was not being addressed by was by Bishop and the Consolidated Group.

      Instead, their cause was taken up by Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke an educator. Dr. Paul Cooke, who was a member of the Greater Washington Area Council of the American Veterans Committee, would later be named President of the University of The District of Columbia.

      Cooke and along with Florence Nierman, the chair of the Washington chapter of the American Veterans Committee were determined to have the black deaf children educated at Kendall.

      If Thurgood Marshall was trying to cross the river of segregation, then the deaf black children residing within the District of Columbia had two rivers to cross. For they had been relegated to the status of a slave who were not permitted to be educated at all. As a result of the Plessy decision, the black deaf students within the District of Columbia found themselves wading in the waters of no education within our nation’s Capitol.

      Cooke and Nierman backed by the American Veterans Committee decided to trouble the waters at Kendall by assembling the parents of the black deaf children residing inside the District of Columbia and engaging the services of the black law firm of Cobb, Howard, and Hayes.

      They initiated their assault on the discriminatory policy through a letter writing campaign to the Board of Education. The parents wrote such letters spelling out their concerns and requesting for a change in the policy of sending their children to another state for education.

      The Millers had no reservations of joining the group; for they thought the $1650.00 they paid for Kenneth’s tuition along with the absence of their son and the lack of parental guidance to be an unfair and unnecessary burden on their family.

      By December 1951, the American Veterans Committee had spent more than eight months corresponding with the agencies responsible for the oversight of the education of the District of Columbia’s deaf children. They prepared, wrote, and delivered a six page statement to the Board of Education on December 26, 1951. The statement, with a cover letter from Cooke, outlined the unequal situation of the students. It set forth the current legislation regarding the education of the deaf students. Additionally, it supported the requests of the Black parents to have their deaf children admitted to the Kendall School in the District of Columbia. This statement marked the end of the AVC’s first phase of a two-prong strategy to challenge educational policy.

      On February 2, 1952, the law firm of Cobb, Hayes, and Howard filed Miller. v. Board of Education of District of Columbia in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Louise B. Miller and her son Kenneth, who was now eleven and on whose behalf she had begun her advocacy in 1946, were the lead plaintiffs. They were joined by Marvin Brown and his daughter, Irene Brown; Mattie Hood and her son Robert Jones; Grace Jones and her son William Matthews; Minnie Mayfield and her son Donald Mayfield; and Luke Richardson and his daughter Doris Richardson. John D. Fauntleroy and Phineas Indritz, respectively, argued the case for the plaintiffs and prepared the plaintiffs’ briefs.

      Unlike the outcome of the Consolidated Group’s class action suit, Judge David A. Pine rendered a decision finding for the plaintiffs in the nonjury hearing.

      The judge’s decision was based on the ruling in the 1938 Missouri v. Canada, case.

      The Gaines case argued by Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston essentially dealt with a practice, whereby the state of Missouri paid the tuition of African Americans at out-of-state schools rather than admit them to the University of Missouri. In doing so, the state avoided the expense of having to construct separate-but-equal facilities. The Gaines court ruled for the plaintiff and held that Missouri provided no equal access to higher education for both races within its borders. The Supreme Court Justices found Missouri’s policy to be state-practiced racial discrimination, and therefore in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

      Judge Pine, in basing his ruling on that precedent, stated, “as I see it, the practice involved in this case offends against the Gaines decision; and therefore, to maintain the legality of the separation of the races, it is the duty of the District of Columbia to provide equal educational facilities within the District of Columbia for the deaf children of both races, if it provides for any therein”.

      In the fall of 1952, Black students were again attending Kendall School.

      This victory proved bittersweet for the plaintiffs. Plessy mandated the Kendall School to set up a separate area for Black students. The result was Kendall’s creation of Division I for the white students and Division II for the Black students.

      A positive and significant change brought about by Miller v. D.C. Board of Education was the hiring of Black teachers. This became a necessity after the hostile response of the white teaching staff to the return of the Black students.

      The first black teacher to be hired was Ruby Fry Hughes.

      The deaf students were now wading in the waters of segregation along with the Consolidated Group determined to surface the shores of desegregation.

      The deaf students were now wading in the waters of segregation along with the Consolidated Group determined to surface the shores of desegregation.

      Thank you for joining us today in exploration of the black deaf community’s participation in the school desegregation fight initiated Louise Miller and supported by Dr. Cooke, Mrs. Florence Nierman, the American Veterans Committee, Attorney James Cobb and the Law Firm of Cobb Howard and Hayes, and all the other African American families who joined the lawsuit argued by John D. Fauntleroy, and Phineas Indritz.

      I’m Sandra Jowers Barber. Please join us tomorrow here on Febone1960.net Black History Calendar as we continue to explore the fight for school desegregation.

      For Spanish and hearing impaired versions, please go to the Febone1960.net Black History Month Calendar


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        Posted 4 years, 8 months ago.

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        Judge Glenda Hatchett Says Loudly Post Dreams Not Bail


        The Children’s Defense Fund issued a report called America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline. The report identifies what it calls “an urgent national crisis at the intersection of poverty and race that puts Black boys at a one in three lifetime risk of going to jail, and Latino boys at a one in six lifetime risk of the same fate.”

        Judge Glenda Hatchett had plenty to say about this subject on her recent visit to the Monique Show. Not sitting down and accepting this report, Judge Hatchett tours around the country with her project entitled Parent Power Now!

        Take a look above to see what she talking about. Also if you haven’t done so, take a look at The Monique Show which airs at 11:00 AM on BET. Monique uses her show as a platform to educate the African American community. For all the BET haters, this show is different and is truly inspirational.

        Take Judge Hatchett’s order and spread the word the about The Monique Show.

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          Posted 4 years, 11 months ago.

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