I have been debating and having some self reflection on this app. As a member of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery's Teacher Advisory Board, For one I'm impressed that they have included some images from the collection. (The educator in me) is somewhat disappointed in the app because there is nothing more than a random match, Google could have taken it a step further and provided more information on the matching portrait. So I had to do my own research on who my portrait twin was... Ironically I wonder did they read my capstone and know I was fully vested in mural art because my match came from a mural in South Philadelphia titled "ASpire," by muralist Ernel Martinez (2014). The mural, created in collaboration with Black Thought of The Roots, celebrates the life of Philadelphia community leader Dr. Shawl L. “Air Smooth" White.
If you have ever wanted to write for the National Portrait gallery, well the Teacher Advisory Board understand the need and the desire for other teachers to write for NPG. As unique as we are, we know that we can only scratch the surface of the multitude of ways that the museum can be utilized in classrooms across the country. That is why for the 50th anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery we are asking teachers to tell us how they use the Portrait Gallery in their classroom.
To see the complete story, check out my blog post that was posted on January 2018
I’m back… After making the transition to Charles County, I have been looking for my niche in both the school and the county. I missed out on the first County Wide Art Show. But I made up for it when one of my students’ artwork from last year was selected by Davis Publications to be featured on the back cover of the Advocacy Planner. The planner is published each year and is a planning calendar full of artist birthdays, holidays, quotes, and advocacy.
“I went through hell founding this organization and I want something done about these problems. Think of it, we have over a 120 chapters and I ask what are we doing? We have got to do something for Negroes . . . Shall we stand for it? We won't fight. Do something constructive so that your sons, your daughters and all who come behind them will be proud of you. We must fight till Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice." (December 1937 Alpha Phi Alpha General Convention in New Orleans, LA)
Although Tandy did not coin this phrase himself, it originated from The Battle of Bulltown which was a small skirmish fought during the American Civil War near Bulltown in Braxton County, West Virginia on October 13, 1863.
William Lowther Jackson, the cousin of "Stonewall" Jackson, led a raiding party of 800 men into central West Virginia to capture the strategic "fort" at Bulltown which overlooked an important crossing of the Little Kanawha River. The goal was to cut Federal communications between the Greenbrier and Kanawha Valleys.
Jackson approached Bulltown secretly. He divided his forces in an attempt to converge on the Union position from two different directions. The Confederates advanced at 4:30am on October 13. They quickly captured the Federal pickets and would have taken the garrison by surprise but one Confederate, whether due to excitement or nervousness, fired his gun and alerted the Union troops.
The Confederates advanced against the fort and a drawn out skirmish lasted until about 4:30pm, almost twelve hours after the battle began. Twice, Jackson sent a flag of truce with a demand to surrender to which Captain William H. Mattingly replied "I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."
Jackson eventually retreated back towards the Greenbrier Valley. Casualties were very light considering the length of the battle. On the Union side there were no fatalities. Captain Mattingly was wounded in the thigh and there were some other slight wounds in the Federal camp. The Confederates lost eight soldiers and a like number were wounded.
80 years after the creation of the life membership crusade in Alpha Phi Alpha and 23 years after I was initiated into the Theta Rho Chapter... I followed in the foot steps of Brother Oliver Wilson Winters, DDS and I have become Life Member 13577.
"Our Historian, Dr. Charles H. Wesley, notes that "At the 19th Convention (1926) the Fraternity endeavored to create an endowment fund by approving the idea of endowment policies on the lives of the Founders and Brothers. The details were to be worked out by a commission." Brother Winters credits this plan to the "fertile imagination of Brother Joseph Woods." But, a familiar story unfolded and amid the goings-on brother Wesley noted "These details were not put into complete operation." Fortunately for Alpha Phi Alpha O. Wilson Winters was a leader rather than a follower. Dr. Wesley continues, "In spite of this fact, Brother Winters took out a policy, continued payment of the annual premiums, and after ten years the policy was paid by check to the fraternity." Why would one one man continue to pursue a course of action which for ten years seemed to arouse little or no enthusiasm among his peers? Dr. Wesley states, "This action was a distinct indication of the deep affection which Brother Winters maintained for the Fraternity and a tangible expression of his faith and desire to see it placed upon more permanent foundations." And in 1937 at the New Orleans Convention, Brother Winters' faith was recognized and he was declared Life Member No. 1.
Unknown Author (1976, April). FOCUS:Life member Number One. The SPHINX, 62(2), pp. 13-17.
For years I was chasing dollars and staying in my comfort zone. When I leaped off the edge and left DCPS for Charles County, I realized 2 things. One, money is not everything. As a family we made some adjustments and in fact we have come out on top. And two, I can teach and push my students and not just a talented few of them but I can push them all. They want to learn, They want to be creative and They actually have a love and appreciation for the arts and what the arts can do.
And NOT ONCE have I heard anyone tell me, if you don't want to be here, you can be replaced; in fact folks want want me here. And above all I feel valued by my colleagues and administration.
What do I miss, I miss some of the opportunities that were afforded to me as a DC Teacher. Free trips and workshops for me and my students. The living breathing museum, that is called Washington, DC. However, working with NPG (National Portrait Gallery) I know that I can bring the museum to them and vise versa. Not having on going professional development, I will have to rely on my virtual kitchen cabinet for lesson ideas and tid bits to get me through.
As Asa Daniels always says, "this is not my first rodeo and will not be my last ride."
Not that I needed any to help turn it on, but the lightbulb is shining brighter than ever. It is something that I have known my entire educational career: from student, to educator, back to student and again as educator with a little bit of an administrator role thrown in there. If you do not have behavioral proficiency, there will be no, and can be no educational proficiency. As simple as that.
It has been a pleasure to be apart of DCPS Arts community it has shaped who I am as both an educator and as an artist. For the last 18 years, I have called DCPS home whether it be at MLKing Elementary or at the Truesdell Education Campus.
However, on February 22, 2017 I will no longer be a teacher within DC Public Schools. After 18 years of serving the students of the District of Columbia I will be leaving to peruse other interest outside of Washington, DC. I have accepted an elementary art teaching job with Charles County (Maryland) Public School. One thing that you all may not have been aware of is that I have been making a 4-hour round trip commute to work these last two years and it has taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.
It was time for me to stop "living to work" and to start "working to live"... I have missed/wasted too much time sitting in traffic trying to get from Point A to Point B. 4 hours a day for 180 days equals 30 full days days just traveling and sitting in a car to get to work in one school year. NO MORE
For the second year in a row, I get he opportunity to make global travel the norm not the expectation for the students of the District of Columbia. This July I will be taking 11th graders to Morocco to investigate the beautiful scenery, tasty food, hospitable people, and to see first hand the quality and simplicity of life that is rare in our days. Not to mention the castles of Casablanca and the opportunity to ride the back of camels through the sand dunes of the Sahara.
2016 continues in the footsteps of 2015. One of my paintings "Almost Done" has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Gallery Exhibit, taking place from February 18, 2016, to June 15, 2016! Almost done depicts a young boy doing artwork as he gazes out of a window, it exemplifies the struggle that goes in in our [my] life to keep working as, he is "almost done" the task at hand.
I'm more than my title will ever be.