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Just Black Content Creators: why read this blog?

Opening: so why are we here?

Whenever we open our mouths or move our bodies, we create. Us, Black folx. Around the world, we are the makers, the mediums, the mirrors, the MCs of this content creation shit. Bold statement, I f***ing know.

Keep in mind, changing climates, cultural values, (social) contracts, and codes around consent, conditioning, consumerism, and capitalism dictate cancellation aka "cancel culture," meaning who’s being cancelled, who’s doing the canceling and who’s doing the collecting? Can't forget people, more like corporations, will perform and pander for a pretty penny. Scary but true.

They say everything is data; everything is content; everyone potentially has a platform. The universe is a set of algorithms. Scary but true. Even after death (virtual or real), your content lives on. People will continue to react, reupload, or remix in perpetuity. Scary but true.

My intention for this blog is to create content (and community) that informs and uplifts in order to disrupt the negative, unhealthy downloading (downplaying, down-paying, and down-putting) our Black youth and our Black communities frequently experience. Curious readers will find relatable stories, critical self-reflections, and sociopolitical commentaries about being Black in white schools, white America, and my own mirror. Self-accountability hurts. (And it helps).

Who you gonna call? Ghost Busters?

Who do you call if you need language, strategies, and supports to navigate our American education system? Especially given Black folks' turbulent history and precarious relationship with the American ed system? Especially if you are a first-generation college-bound student or the first teacher in your family, who do you call? Where do you go to seek answers? To find your help, your healing, and your humanity?

Who cares about Black peop…I mean Black thoughts?

That’s my point. white America does not and will not care unless it benefits white America or costs Black America. Or, maybe I should say that corporate America and Capitalism will not care unless they get their cut somehow. I’m in connection, conversation, and community with my kinfolk, my kindred spirits, my POC, my inner child, my best self, my shadow, my ancestors, my contemporaries, and my successors. Quite the audience and quite the village!

Sure, why education? And not celebrity news? Street news? Gossip? Academia?

I am too busy for gossip. I am too much of a people-person and skeptic to be learning and locked away in the ivory tower, reading and researching for the privileged few who have access to it. Plus, I already wrote an undergraduate research thesis. No flex, just formalities for a damn degree. Thank you to the professors, researchers, and the street ethnographers who marry theory, practice, and service. You know, the folks with an ear to the streets.

Moreover, I respect the streets. Growing up around the vestiges and lingering lost souls of the 80s and 90s Crack Era, I am from the streets but not in the streets. I know the ledge. I know the difference. I know that pain, that pressure, that (dis)positioning. My point exactly: can we heal together and find more commonalities and or points of connection beyond just common points of pain and plight? In other words, I know you are more than yo’ hood, yo’ past, yo’ current circumstances, yo’ checking account, and yo’ social media following! Not to mention, I went from smelling dope being cooked up as a toddler to a young man watching pale faces in Porsches pass by in private school. All that to say is that I have seen some stuff in my day! And I don't want to pretend to be something I am not; more importantly, I want you and me to be our most authentic selves, especially in light of our respective complications, contradictions, and confusions.

Furthermore, I don’t care about the streets because the streets don’t care about me (or any of us). I don’t claim the streets because the streets have claimed too many. I do care about the people in the streets. Streets don’t breathe, streets don’t mourn, streets don’t love. The streets catch bodies, the streets absorb tears, and then the streets will inevitably stand and remain after gentrification, “urban renewal,” and or death. I get it: we have all poured out a little liquor for the homies just to be reminded that the streets are intoxicated and intoxicating, especially for our youth.

I want my writing to release tears, tensions, and ties to destructive ideologies, insecurities, and institutions, as well as breathe life into people, wrap arms around vulnerable ones, walk the kids to and through school, smush people together for that family photo, and arm people with information, intel, and inspiration.

Conventional education was my way out of dead-end life choices and my way into various ways of life. College in Cali completely changed this Texas boy's entire critical consciousness.

Again, why “just black thoughts” from you?

I can’t help it; I’m Black in America, so what do you expect?

Specifically, I am a teacher today; however, I was once a little Black boy longing for his Black father’s presence, not necessarily love. I just wanted to see the man, embrace the man, and see the man grow up and grow old (with me). Wanting his love was an afterthought or maybe wishful thinking. It’s hard to love what you can’t see, hold, or reflect back. Guess that’s called faith, imagination, trust in the universe. I have faith (trust, and imagine) my young father meant well and did as best as he could given the time and his (limited) tools.

Without my biological father, I was not lackin' for long. Sure, on Father’s Day, I was caught lackin'—lackin' a smile, lackin' a gift, and lackin' someone to receive it (or me). Actually, take that back. I was never lackin'. I had my mother and grandmother as well as my older brother and step-father to keep me safe and secure. As a middle child wondering about his place, his papa, and his potential, I developed this avoidant attachment style, disguised as this stoic independence (more like quiet suffering). Contrary to propaganda on social media and mainstream media, I hold no resentment toward my biological father, any Black man, Black woman, or Black person. I know who the real “opps” are, and they ain’t Black nor are they human. While I am not bitter or broken, I am distant and discerning. That said, my father and most people can find parts of me in these prose.

I wasn’t raised in or with hate, so hating ain’t in my blood or my DNA. Of course, it’s in my social programming; however, this journey as a teacher is forcing me to call out and counteract such physiological and psychological conditioning. As I liberate myself, I hope I am doing the same for my students. I would like to say our liberation is related, reciprocated, and hopefully coordinated.

While a lot of jobs require us to put our humanity in jeopardy (harm’s way), teaching and other service jobs require individuals to put their own and other’s humanity (and harmony) in perspective, in relationship, and potentially in connection. A teacher who does not actively deal with their trauma, work through their childhood wounds, or even move with an unrelenting desire to look themselves in their own eyes is doomed to create similar wounds and trauma in their pupils. Teaching can easily become “an eye for an eye” if it ain’t “eye to eye.” Who would dare bat an eye at some Black guy talking about education?

Speak in English. Speak in concrete terms, not soliloquies. What exactly do you mean?

In plain terms, I am paying my dues, giving back, paying it forward. I am trying to rid my family and my community of intergenerational debts, Black tax, and white interest. And I ain’t just talking money, for no amount of paper is as valuable as information, values, histories, service, safety, and love passed within and between generations.

Hopefully, this platform is one of ego death and one of community life. As I reflect more and more, I find myself wondering: What will I (you) leave behind? What will I (you) carry on? What will I (you) take to the grave? Forget how I will be remembered. No need for idol (idle) worship. If you didn’t know, celebrity culture founded on American individualism is all too prevalent and perilous. I just want to give, replenish, and share—share access to knowledge, network, and nutrients, assuming I have those to give and your trust to receive.

Yes, my blog, this platform, this virtual space is one of millions out there. No worries. Just like there are millions of teachers and students out there. I can teach only those who show up, ready to listen, learn, and love. Same for me, I can teach only when I am ready to listen, learn, and love. Let us not forget, teaching and learning is relational, so please come through!

Why join this community!?

Like many of us, we have spent so much time around whiteness that defining and loving our Blackness is challenging. I should speak for myself. Attending a predominantly white private high school and college while growing up around Black and Brown people, I figured there’s a reason I majored in African and African-American Studies, said no to a 75K corporate job to pursue a career in teaching, and eventually started this blog.

I will go a step further and say there’s a reason my career journey led me to a current stint at a predominantly white private school. I have had to confront and heal childhood wounds and support Black kids navigating the same shit I once grappled with. It used to be incredibly uncomfortable to stand in front of wealthy white kids who looked like the kids who once bullied, belittled, and betrayed me. Some did befriend me. Thank you.

I can’t fix anything or anyone but myself and sure not a (education) system that was set up to break me down. I come to these white spaces as a mirror to the institution and advocate for the kids. Our babies need real-life supports, trusted adults, and dedicated guardians in real-time, or else they will look for guidance only online with influencers, virtually drifting into virtual reality where reels and reality can be insidiously indistinguishable for young people without the most mature critical-thinking skills. I will soon leave these white spaces for my own sanity and my time—the time to serve in other aspects. Despite my hang-ups in school, education is where I found my sense of value, vision, and vocation.

What this blog is not.

This blog does not center whiteness, victimhood, and or trauma. Point blank. No trauma porn, no poverty tourism, no culture vultures. Not here. And in simpler terms, this platform ain't about white folx. It's about love and life-giving through lyrics, lived experiences, and learning.

Can you make it short and sweet?

Brought to you by one Black male educator, Just Black is a place, space, and platform for Black educators and Black students to commiserate, console, conspire, commune, collaborate, (co)create, and care for one another. Periodt.

This is my formal invitation to you, yes, you, my fellow Black content creators, creatives, care-givers, and community leaders. I look forward to meeting you virtually and hopefully in person.

LUV ya!

D. White


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Make a statement.

B-Roll/Cutting Lines/Out of Line(s)

Funny (corny) lines that didn’t make the final draft.
  • Pale patriarchy patronizes me and will pay me more for its perpetuation; however, I won’t be petty, pitiful, or pinned down.

  • Cancel culture just depends on the creator, the content, the consumer, and the climate—and the complexion of the creator. There’s no rules to “cancel culture.” For hundreds of years, Black folx and POC have seen and experienced cancel culture—slavery, genocide, eugenics, Jim Crowe, etc. Cancel culture in the hands of white supremacy is _____. You tell me.

  • The education system has made all of us think in white, why can’t I share my thoughts in Black? Who or what is really afraid of a little color when there seems to be no light? If you want to be technical, Black can exist without any light.


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