Introducing The Knowledge Hacking Ebook

Team, I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally written and published my book!

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Please stay tuned in 2017 as I build the marketing plan for the book and its amazing resources. Until then, and in celebration of the holidays enjoy a 25% discount by using the coupon code – HOLIDAZE. Coupon code will be in effect until 1/1/2017

Stay tuned, there is more to come.

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Kanye with a bit of BEDA Recap – BEDA Day 14 of 31

Kanye with a bit of BEDA Recap –

BEDA Day 14 of 31

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This video floated across my facebook the other day. My crazy cousin Kanye always gives me a little something extra to think about. The vid is 2 minutes long. I’ve linked some resent posts connected to his main ideas. Check them out!

 

I’m just the shot to get YOU going

Entrepreneurship In the New Black: Counting Consulting Checks

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Income Source 1 – Produce and Facilitate Workshops – I’ve run a handful of workshops over the past 2 years. To date I’ve run roughly 10 workshops ranging from 4 participants to 100 participants. My largest client to date has been my former graduate school.

Definition: A workshop is a presentation or performance in which a group of people are facilitated through a discussion or activity on a certain subject.Skills: Planning, Communicating with clients and audience, finding and modifying tools to share during workshop. Making any additional materials needed such Feedback survey, handouts, creating presentation PowerPoint/presentations, organizing photography and video collection.

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Believe in Yourself, Affirm, Complete!

From Blogging to Book Writing

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The process I’ve used thus far has looked loosely like this:

  • -Read a handful of e-books on writing your own nonfiction book.
  • -Generated ideas
  • -Bought a personalized book writing toolkit from Fiverr.com
  • -Narrowed my ideas down to the three biggest ideas I had. (all others are blog topics)
  • -Bought a notebook, and wrote one full page on what I wanted to book to be about

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Refusing to follow societies rules meant to control people

Reading Books that Scare You

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The title here is enough. Afrikan People and European Holidays: Mental Genocide by Ishakamusa Barashango. It helped me again see some of my behaviors as implicit actions that imposed a dominant culture. Like really, take a second and think about why you’ve worshipped a White Santa Clause figure from early childhood? Many adults don’t even recognize how easily we fall prey to forced cultural and social activities. I haven’t read this book yet. But again the title thus far has been enough to help me already start questioning behaviors that I have that may perhaps go against my ideals and thoughts of the world.

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People who are doing, know that doing is hard, but are not afraid to fail

How I Failed at Community Organizing

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Why is this a failure? Well, because we haven’t met since April. And part of me knew this would happen. I feel like while I was doing some… interesting and valuable work inviting members of my community to gather together, I wasn’t doing anything truly enriching. Our numbers halved each gathering. February was packed with approximately 15 men. March we had roughly 7, and then in April we peaked at 4 members in the room at once.

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If my failures inspire others, then I’m gucci

Houston, We’ve Made Contact

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He said my blog had answered many of his initial questions.
He had questions written in his phone.
He asked me about my thoughts and reflections as an educator.
He asked about advice I would give him going into his second year.
He asked me about the future of the blog.
To which… I shared there are immediate plans to update my online presence. 

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Kanyechuckle

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Reading Books That Scare You – BEDA Day 8 of 31

Reading Books That Scare You

BEDA Day 8 of 31

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I dont feel like doing anything today….. So, today’s post is a snapshot of one of the piles of books i have in my room.

I regularly spend too much money buying used amazon books. Its an addiction. And I claim it! Because one day im going to turn around and be so amped at my library.

(Click on pictures to enlarge and zoom in)

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Hopefully you can see all of the titles on there.

Theres a little Kwame Nkrumah I profiled him a few weeks ago here. Kwame was the first Prime Minister of present-day Ghana.

Theres some Asa Hilliard and Amos Wilson. Both great reads if you’re looking for information about… Black Liberation, Historical shifts in African/Negro/Black/African American communities, cultural anthropology, racism and institutions.

This stack is made up mostly from books that I’ve bought this year. The bottom few are older grabs.

I pulled out a fews that the side binding didn’t show.

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                    #BooksThatScareYou                    

I’ve long wanted to do a series on books that challenged my mind so much they actually scared me. I think its important to connect with ideas, theories, arguments, and points of view that FORCE us to engage in critical analysis of the ways our culture has formed the ways we think and operate. I know I have a couple of titles that do that for me.

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The title here is enough. Afrikan People and European Holidays: Mental Genocide by Ishakamusa Barashango. It helped me again see some of my behaviors as implicit actions that imposed a dominant culture. Like really, take a second and think about why you’ve worshipped a White Santa Clause figure from early childhood? Many adults don’t even recognize how easily we fall prey to forced cultural and social activities. I haven’t read this book yet. But again the title thus far has been enough to help me already start questioning behaviors that I have that may perhaps go against my ideals and thoughts of the world.

I saw these two books and had to give them their own spotlight. I’ve only read portions of Dr. Frances Cress Welsings The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors. In many of her speeches she references The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept by Neely Fuller, Jr. Which I own, but have yet to crack open. Out of all of my books it’s kinda interesting that these 3 were in this one pile. I would say they’re probably the 3 books I’m most resistant to really sit down and read out of my whole collection.

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What books have you come across that made you scared to read? If you haven’t come by any titles yet maybe you can find a nice one in one of the many titles listed above.

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Rich Dad Poor Dad Book Review BEDA Day 4 of 31

Rich Dad Poor Dad Book Review

BEDA Day 4 of 31

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NEW_RDPD_Book_mockup1What up fam,

So today. I have a book review for you.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki

Rating – 4 out of 5 – Must have.

Pages – 243

Readability – Medium

Amazon link here

Of course, a used Amazon purchase for me. It’s where I get 85% of my books. The other 15% is through e-books. I’m excited because I recently applied for and obtained my Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library cards. They both have tons of access to e-books and some article reserves.

This is a book that I’ve seen on the market forever. My interests are very self-help heavy right now, and have been for a few years. Rich Dad, Poor Dad strikes me as a kind of… Top 20 of your self help/personal finance books. I know that I’ve struggled to be strategic with my finances. I used to be very carefree and just for the love type of person. But quite frankly I respect my craftmenship too much to not try to strategically invest in my business and personal financial futures.

This book was a great foundational book for my financial literacy. I started reading this book as a skeptic. I see too many of his get rich quick feeling adds over my instagram and facebook. I’m currently in a space in my reading journey where I’m trying to reach out to books that I normally wouldn’t have read before.

This was a great selection to prove that you never really know the true value of a book until you crack its cover and give it a chance.

Robert takes us through his childhood living in the city with a Rich Dad and a Poor Dad. His Rich Dad was actually the father of one of his friends. This father owned a business and helped expose the boys to life situations geared specifically to develop their understanding and familiarity with money. Robert’s Poor Dad was his biological father. This father was a teacher, long-time government employee. His love for Robert was real, but he taught Robert to be scared of money and as a result taught him many bad money-making habits.

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I pulled a lot from the book. One thing I’ve been absolutely obsessed with since reading the book are my assets. Assets are one part in a 4-part money equation (Income, Expenses, Assets, Liabilities). Robert says that we have income, assets, liabilities, and expenses. His main argument is that we grow up in a society that doesn’t teach us and prepare us to find and develop our own personal assets. We rely on incomes derived from salaries, which never allow us to develop true streams of wealth.

An assets is defined as something that brings money into your pool of wealth, automatically and in perpetuity. Robert says many people assume their house is an asset. But he argues that true assets can be bought, created, inherited, and invested in. Smart people focus on accumulating assets, while poor people focus on accumulating liabilities and expenses.

I’ve been laser focused on creating assets ever since I’ve read this book. This alone was a huge take away from the book.

Some of the other highlights I found in this book:

  • Income – Rental Income, Salary, Royalties, Dividends, Interest
  • Expense – Taxes, Mortgage, Rent
  • Asset – Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate (rental), Intellectual Property
  • Liability – Credit Cards, Mortgage, Loans
  • Financial Literacy 101
  • Planting seeds and cultivating your Asset Column
  • Tax benefits of different business structures
  • Working to learn skills, not working for money
  • Defeating Self Doubting behaviors (pic)

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  • Working to develop assets that value more than your monthly expenses (pic)20160804_123937

I definitely recommend you get this book is you’re looking to transition to making more wealth based decisions in your life. Reading this book made me so much more confident in my current ability to begin collect my own assets. I feel super capable of constructing a strong asset column and can’t wait to make my first few contributions before the end of the year.

What about you? Have you read the book before?

What did/didn’t you like about the book?

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The Purge – Catalogue

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The Purge – Catalogue

Tucked away in the SkoolHaze back alleys are about 15 drafted reviews for the books I read this summer. I was on a reading binge from July to September. Initially it started as a #Read40ADay challenge. I was doing pretty well, reading on average about 70 pages a day until maybe… early August. My mind and eyes got tired and…. the world started to slow down. I was still able to get through quite a few books, many of which expanded my thinking and gave my brain great distress. For example, Paul Robeson’s Here I Stand and W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folks were extremely tedious and difficult to get through. Not only did I have to translate their formal language into something I could comprehend, but I also had to try to put myself in their time. The Souls of Black Folks was written in the early 1900’s and I felt the need to put myself in Dubois’ world in order to truly understand his story. This is sort of how Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children felt when I tried to read it before having taught a day in school. I picked it back up right after finishing my first year and it felt like Ms. Delpit was speaking to my soul. Other books like Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow forced me to analyze every word of every sentence that described the evolution of our criminal justice system. It became a sad soap opera that I couldn’t put down, and recommend everyone read.

Thankfully I’ve used a lot of what I consumed in my teaching practice and grad school papers. One day I may actually finalize the reviews and post them for your all. Until then check the list out below.

What are you readin?

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Recommended Books – I highly recommend these books. These are all titles that I ended up creating my own table of contents as I knew I would be returning back to the book years later for sources and tips.

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The Mis-Education of the Negro – Foundational Text for anyone educating black children or people. If you haven’t read this book and you teach African American students you should really take a second to see what Elder Woodson has to say. Its probably the most profound things I’ve heard about education theory for Black students, and it was written over a century ago.

The New Jim Crow – Great read for anyone who’s work or life is impacted by the criminal justice system. Compelling argument that highlights how the criminal justice system for over 200 years has worked to create poverty and a caste system in minority communities.

Trying to Get There – Great story about fighting for your own success in a market that isn’t used to your culture. I just loved being able to get a piece of Roderick’s story. And have actually taken to wearing bowties at work because of him.

Eleven Rings The master coach. I admit the sexy cover sold me! Phil replays his youth as a basketball player and how it helped turn him into one of the most successful coaches in history. It was great seeing him make teams from players of individuals. I’m still hopeful I can use some of his tribe influenced techniques in my classes.

Other People’s Children – Amazing read that puts cultural communication differences into perspective. I would say read this if you have at least taught 1 year in a school setting. It made so much more sense once I was able to recall my own work-related situations where communication just simply wasn’t the same between my students and coworkers.

A Handbook for Teachers – Fan of Baruti Kafele’s work. He actually came and spoke at one of the conferences my old job put together. Motivational book that gives the reader so implementable tips for working with Black students.

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Good Reads – Outside of The Narrative, these books are all a bit more specialized. I recommend them if you’re looking for specific tips and strategies in the areas listed.

Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males Great book that highlights some strategies on working with Black male readers. As a Sped teacher its been a bit more difficult to implement these in an ICT setting. But I do feel like this book gave me a better perspective to assess my student’s literacy skills.

The Black Man’s Guide to Graduates School I read this after I had already finished my 1st year of Grad School. Shout out to co-author Corey Guyton who got his Ph. D. from my alma mater Indiana State University. Great read if you’re thinking about going to grad school but not sure where to start. Book offers multiple perspectives from 6 different guys who all had different journeys to meet their success.

Narrative of Frederick Douglas I read this in high school, but didn’t quite remember it. Great perspective builder for anyone who needs a refresher of Black/American history – how far we’ve come – and how far we still need to go.

Motivating Black Males to Achieve Another book from Baruti Kafele. I’m in the middle of reading this now. I love that he approaches this work form a surplus perspective. It shows in his writing and its refreshing reading about Black youth from that perspective.

Unlabel Motivation Maker. I’ve been reading this book for a while. It talks about Mark Ecko’s rise to fame with Ecko clothing, Complex Magazine and all his other business ventures. I love this book because every time I read it I end up putting it down to go work on SkoolHaze. Definitely worth the money.

Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys Perhaps one of Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu’s founding works. Dr. Kunjufu is a voice for the Black Male scholar to speak about his own condition in society. The book was written in the 80’s and reflects some of popular black opinion from that time. But overall a great read for anyone wanting a deeper look at issues that may be affecting Black male success.

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General Collection – These books didn’t give me groundbreaking new information, but they were interesting reads.

DreamKeepers – So, at one point we were asked to read a book that I didn’t agree with in our grad classes. The title of the book related to scare tactics that I just couldn’t stand behind in class. I went to the professor and she offered to incorporate an additional text for me and others. This is that text. I like DreamKeepers it kind of touches on the teaching and communication differences between White teachers and teachers of color.

Coming of Age: Rites of Passage I would recommend this for people who have been through a Rites of Passage program themselves. The book gave me a language to use in describing and thinking about the pro’s and con’s of the process. I don’t know if it will be helpful to anyone without an intimate knowledge already though.

To Be Popular or Smart – Easy read. To be honest I can’t remember much from the book.

Motivating and Preparing Black Youth Easy read. To be honest I can’t remember much from the book.

Teaching Matters Great book written by two education scholars from my alma mater Indiana State University. They talked about how educators owe it to their profession to be and bring passion to their work.

The Warrior Method This is a book I just started. It gives basic information about raising strong Black boys. The title is what caught me the most. But I haven’t read enough of the book to really speak about it.

The Alchemist A book I’ve always wanted to read about reaching your personal legend, and creating doors where there were no doors before.

Angry Little Men Oddly enough I didn’t have a problem with this title even though its similarly framed from a deficit standpoint. I don’t remember much about this book, but in the margins I wrote “This book answers how African American children (boys) can have a high academic self-concept even if they don’t perform well academically.”

Empire State of Mind Anecdotal review of Jay’Z’s rise to fame and stardom. The authors interviews people close to Jay-Z and uses old newspaper articles to piece the story together. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re looking for more first hand information on Jay-z.

Juggling Elephants One of the first books I read two or 3 years ago that began my library. It was the beginning of me figuring out how to effectively use my time to get what I want.

Fraternity I’ve been eyeing this book forever. It’s the story of the group of Black men that were recruited to attend Holy Cross University on scholarship. The class was part of an integration push by the school officials. Some members of the cohort include Clarence Thomas, Theodore Wells a successful defense attorney, and Edward P. Jones a Pulitzer Prize winner. I started reading this book, but haven’t been pulled in by the story yet so I put it down. I plan to return one day.

Prince Among Slaves Last but not least a book about a former African Prince sold into slavery here in the states. I loved learning about Ibrahima’s story. I haven’t finished the book yet but its historical facts mixed with anecdote.

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The Purge – Train

The Purge – Train

Education SkoolHaze ThePurge

In Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, Dr. Kunjufu brings up the difference between training and education. A super condensed paraphrase is to say that training is received through all institutions (organizations/groups/processes). I speak on this word a lot because there’s almost a never-ending web of “systems” that compel us to act and engage in certain ways that we may not even understand. For instance, the lab rat is placed into a maze (institution) through… trail and error that lab rat eventually learns the way to it’s cheesy treat (reward). The static (rules/laws) walls of the maze eventually teach/guide the rat in a way that it learns how to act, and could rely on this training to find the cheese even if the walls were removed one day.

We all receive training, its inescapable in a way. We all (generally) go to school systems, use the roadways and train and airplane networks, are familiar enough with the legal and court systems and travel to and from some re-newable source of income that helps us take care of our basic needs to stay alive. Institutions profoundly affect life and how we think we choose to interact with it. However, teachers (used generally), are endowed with the responsibility of being activists. We (used generally) are responsible for preparing our students and other persons that express need with the education and skills to maneuver through these institutions to success.

Unfortunately, I can’t gauge others’ sense of responsibility to this cause. Nonetheless, institutions themselves create a chaos that prevents individuals from ever reaching the harmony that is propagated to us in theory. Let’s call this bureaucracy. Its just impossible to develop a subway system designed for 10,000 daily riders, that in a few short years has grown outdated and simply can’t handle the increased volume of 100,000 daily riders on the same constraints (rules/laws). [Insert your local public school system here]

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Dr. Kunjufu argues that people, specifically Black people, need to go through courses that develop their education, and not their training. Education being different because it gives people the ability to constantly gauge the parameters of each new situation, then select the best method to proceed. In essence, it’s a process that teaches and encourages critical thinking in its users.

“The organization I recommend is more formal, including more boys with a program providing skill development and recreation. The program is very similar to the Boy Scouts with two major differences. The first is ideological. The political/historical persuasion of the Boy Scouts is the maintenance of the status quo, which in America is European-American male supremacy. The “Rites of Passage Program’s” major thrust is to equip African-American boys ideologically with the tools to understand why Africans are oppressed and specifically African-American boys. If this objective is not met, the conspiracy will continue. In order to resist, you must first know what you’re resisting. The second major difference is the distinction between self-directed learning and training. Boy Scouts, like most schools, train African-American children. There are fundamental differences between training and education. If you are trained you become the employee, if you are educated you become the employer. If you are trained you have a “J.O.B.” (if you’re “lucky”), if you are educated you have a career. If you are trained you have been taught to memorize, if you are educated you have been taught how to think. The Boy Scouts train boys to maintain America the “Rites of Passage” program educates boys to remove injustices of racism, capitalism, sexism, and to fuel liberation and the maximization of human potential.”(33)

I agree with this quote overall, but did feel compelled to respond to the highlighted part – I have pride for who I am. Having pledged (Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. – Zeta Rho Chapter [ZPDC]) before, I do believe that I now have an anchor or roots to a history, and something that gives me a sense of active ability to continue to create and add on to that legacy. This deep pride is something I can connect with at will. It pushes me to invigoratory, or perhaps a single-step below self-sustaining levels of energy and absorption that I can focus at will. This… ability to re-write history, even if just for Zeta Rho, is observable in how I currently challenge myself in life. And most importantly how I challenge my students. It has given me an ASG-function (Always Seeking Growth). Once something is mastered, then it is time to seek a new challenge.

I’m feeling really good at making up words right now. Invigoratory is not a real word… and ASG is an acronym that I just made up… That’s why I made up the term Capitalistic Cognition. I don’t know shit about capitalism… but I do know it has something to do with always wanting more. Consume, consume, consume. Well, what if we decided to consume and absorb thought? I mean I think this is where I’ve ended up in some… weird series of events. Picking up “knowledge” like its going out of style – quick. I think this is the message Kanye was trying to send in his latest outreach.

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What if you really were a King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Inventor, Writer, Organizer, General, Visionary? History is in fact being made right now. Have you thought about what you want history to say about you when you’re no longer walking this earth? When you’re trained history is something that can’t be touched. When you’re educated you realize that each passing moment is a contributing to the global history of <strike> wo/man-kind </strike> humanity.

… My bad for loose ends …

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Dr. Ivory Toldson’s Reading List

Dr. Ivory Toldson’s Reading List

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So I’ve mentioned many times how frustrating it is reading source materials from the deficit frame. Most of the resources I’ve been able to come up with have been finding links in books that I’m reading. For instance, I remember reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X and saving the page where he talked about the books and authors that influenced him. I figured if they influenced him, then they were definitely things that I needed to be reading as well.

One thing I wanted to do was give us all a list of resources that are seminal to the black experience and consist of some of the strongest words and theories from Black scholars as well. Recently I was having a conversation with my sister about why I was frustrated we weren’t getting minority focused/produced works such as the Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois, considered by many to be the leading historical and modern scholar/communicator of the Black experience in American culture. Intrigued, she asked me to justify why I felt like these resources were important given how old they are. Overall, resources like this are important because they give us the historical context for the work we do in schools housed primarily by black and brown students, period.

The experiences [we] minorities face outside of the classroom in the world completely impact the way(s) in which we teach our students inside the classroom. The way we educators view our work and our authoritative power with our students. The way we view our role working for a government institution. And, the way we understand the term culturally relevant teaching practice. I still argue that we can’t be effective at incorporating culturally relevant teaching practice(s) if we ourselves don’t have culturally relevant history and knowledge to pull from. I would argue that just incorporating your own culture into the conversation isn’t the extent of positive teaching if you’re not also able to incorporate positively framed discussion points pulled from your students’ culture to help them build their academics and their self image. Something, again, that I’ve only been able to pull from my own independent readings outside of the graduate classroom.

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As I’m pushing to be a solutions oriented person, I decided to contact Dr. Ivory Toldson to see what he would consider a powerful reading list for the people that care about Black Studies, or do life building work with minority students. He replied rather quickly with the above list. I’ve provided amazon links for all books listed above. Amazon has been my guilty pleasure lately. I got a $100 gift certificate from my sister for my birthday and bought roughly 12 used books from the site. One of my colleagues jokingly mentions her growing professional library in class. At this level, I do fully expect my peers to have some sort of professional library they are building. Regardless of where you are with yours I would recommend adding some of the books from Dr. Toldson’s list. Not all of the books are focused on academic education, however, I anticipate they would benefit from giving us all a greater sense of the history of our country from perspectives we may not have heard before. I’ve highlighted the books I own in maroon.

A little background about Dr. Toldson, I ran into him during one of my late night Youtube trances. I was watching interviews of various black scholars and followed a linked to a video on Khalil Shadeed’s Scholar’s Chair Youtube channel. “Dr. Toldson is an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” He’s taken part in some great research helping to identify solutions for those of us that work in minority community development. I haven’t gotten a chance to read his work as closely as I would like, but his knowledge still serves as a great stepping stone for my own. I’m impressed by his work with the Negro Journal of Education, which I’ve made sure to pull from for my most recent grad school papers.

“Dr. Ivory Toldson, our new Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, is a prolific young scholar and myth buster. He has courageously debunked research and media coverage that perpetuates misleading stereotypes about African Americans. And he is a champion of increasing opportunities for black men, including teaching opportunities.”

– Secretary Arne Duncan, National HBCU Conference

I’ve included his Scholar’s Chair video below, and a PDF link to his study – Breaking Barriers: Plotting the Path to Academic Success for School-Age African American Males

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The Spook Who Sat by the Door – Sam Greenlee
The Mis-Education of the Negro – Carter G. Woodson
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X and Alex Haley
The Souls of Black People – W.E. B. Du Bois
Who Betrayed The African World Revolution – John Henrik Clarke
  • The African Presence in Ancient America, They Came Before Columbus – Ivan Van Sertima
The Destruction of the Black Civilization – Chancellor Williams
The African Origin of Civilization – Cheikh Anta Diop
Stolen Legacy – George G.M. James
Roots: The Saga of an American Family – Alex Haley
Black Men, Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The Afrikan American Family in Transition – Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti
The Afrocentric Idea – Molefi Kete Asante
Black Sheep – Achebe Toldson
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurtson
Richard Wright – Black Boy
The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization (Exploding the Myths) – Anthony T. Browder
The Black Panthers Speak – Phillip S. Foner
Message to the Blackman – Elijah Muhammad
Angela Davis an Autobiography – Angela Y. Davis
Assata: An Autobiography – Assata Shakur
World’s Great Men of Color, Volume 1 – J. A. Rogers
Here I Stand – Paul Robeson
Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys – Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu
The Wretched of the Earth – Frantz Fanon
Witness to the Truth – John H. Scott, Clea Scott Brown
The Isis Papers – Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Maud Martha a Novel – Gwendolyn Brooks