Thoughtful Thursday

/Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday: Celebrating Kevin Young

It's Thoughtful Thursday! Today we are celebrating one of our favorite poets, Kevin Young. In case you hadn't heard, Kevin Young has just been named as the new director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He will be leaving his position as the head of the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: A Birthday Poem

Today is my youngest son's 21st birthday!  I am dedicating today's Thoughtful Thursday to him,  and gifting him (and you all) with a poem to mark this very special occasion: "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley.  I came to know this poem first through my older brother Paul, who at one point attended The (now closed) Henley School in Jamaica, [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Our Nation’s Future

Today's Thoughtful Thursday we celebrate Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden's choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate.  As most everyone certainly knows by know, she is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be named as a vice presidential candidate by a national party. As exciting as Biden's VP choice is, it's true historical [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Summer 2020

A bit of a hodgepodge for Summer 2020 poems in today's Thoughtful Thursday:  two poems celebrating familiar visions of summer (Fireflies!  Kool-Aid!) and one prayer/poem that reminds us that our focus this summer must include more sobering and critical visions. Jacqueline Woodson, who brings us "Firefly", is an award-winning of over 30 books for children and young adults, who served [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: John Robert Lewis 1940 – 2020

Our nation continues to mourn the passing of Congressman John Lewis,  whose funeral was today at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.  Presidents Bush and Clinton spoke, and President Obama delivered the eulogy. (You can find the transcript of Obama's eulogy here). Here are a few inspirational quotes from Congressman Lewis, taken from speeches which in which he talks about [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: On Being Called “Articulate” and The Nod

In today's Thoughtful Thursday we feature two poems that highlight touchy subjects in the Black community: being called "articulate" and the head nod. I learned the definition of "articulate" from my uncle Percy Sutton, who included in its definition the fact that you should not regard it as a compliment when white people directed it at you.  Uncle Percy, [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Current Voices

Today's Thoughtful Thursday showcases more current voices in poetry, courtesy of poets.org's  focus on featuring Black poets in its poem-a-day offering throughout the summer.  If there were ever a time to subscribe to poem-a-day, it would be now, so that you can have Black poetry pop into your inbox on a daily basis for the next few months.  What [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Let America Be America Again

  We are a few days away from Independence Day 2020. As in prior years today's Thoughtful Thursday celebrates Independence Day with two poems from one of America's most beloved and well-known poets, Langston Hughes (1902-1967).  These poems are even more powerful in light of recent events. Share and discuss with your children. Enjoy, and enjoy the 4th!   I, Too, [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: New Voices

In today's Thoughtful Thursday we focus on two young African American poets: Angelo Geter (left photo) and Joshua Bennett (right photo). Angelo Geter is a poet and performance artist also known as "EyeAmBic." A National Poetry Slam champion, Geter is releasing his debut poetry collection in late 2020. He is the Poet Laureate of Rock Hill, SC,  and an Academy [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: What Shall We Tell Our Children?

Today's Thoughtful Thursday presents the poem "What Shall I Tell My Children Who are Black (Reflections of an African American Mother)" by artist, poet, author, and educator Margaret Burroughs (1915-2010).  It was written in 1968,  but could well have been written this week.  In it Burroughs addresses the issue of how to raise black boys up to be confident [...]