Dear Black Coffee Poet (Jorge),
I am happy for this opportunity to email you directly. I hope you enjoyed your time away from your blog. Time for rest, reading and reflection is often what helps us survive. I call it “taking a mental spa”.
I am a high school teacher. Last year I told my students about blackcoffeepoet.com; some of them do read it. Poetry is an important part of what we do at the Ida B. Wells School for Social Justice @ the University of Washington – Seattle. We are a public school, and we are part of Middle College High School.
I really look forward to reading blackcoffeepoet.com and getting introduced to the voices appearing on it. Your blog reminds me that if I am to be about social justice teaching, I can’t just focus on racism and dismantling patriarchy while being complacent about homophobia and classism.
It is important for our students to be seen in a world that renders them invisible. Some of our students are first generation U.S. citizens. Some have parents who have been deported. There are students who are first generation mixed heritages. Others come from multiple generations of mixed-race people. We have students who are multiracial and queer who have never been exposed to queer people of color in school before. Students who are not queer might have queer parents.
At the end of the last school year we created a chapbook featuring poetry as the culminating piece of our school’s social justice participatory action project. Students were fighting for their education and went before the school board trustees.
I will send you some of the poetry that the school board received.
Paulette Thompson (aka Sistateacher)
Humanities Teacher/Site Coordinator
Ida B. Wells School for Social Justice @ University of Washington, Seattle, USA
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