I believe Malcolm X said it best, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”   As parents, we expect the educational system to provide a sufficient foundation for our children to build upon during the next steps in their life.  After Brown vs. The Board of Education, there was a blanket of security wrapped around black people who assured them they would receive the same education and opportunity as their suburban neighbors.  During a time of great social unrest and concern for #BlackLivesMatter, we find ourselves in Detroit preparing to go to battle regarding education and its numerous failures to our children.  Sit back and read my frustrations mingled in with the facts being presented in relation to how DPS and the political machine have left these children and teachers out.  This is an extended emergency and too many have turned away.

Over the pass several weeks, the teachers here have become “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and have been demonstrating through sick-outs.  The first I heard of this was one day when I pulled up to drop The Kid off at school.  He said, “Aww man Ma, I might have to go back home because these teachers have been talking about a sick out.” WHAT?! With no time to drill him about this, I went on to work and classes were not canceled.  It was later on that day that I learned what was going on.

I completely agree with the sentiment expressed in the video.  After countless messages via email and my representative about books with limited to no response.  This was puzzling to someone who is only 17 years out of high school herself.  Yes, I attended public schools in Detroit and they always gave us the ” it’s not in the budget” speech.  However, look at how much enrollment has decreased in the city.  I’m not making these numbers up.  Not as many kids, would mean to me, there are more resources to allocate to the students. Right?

Enrollment

They’ve closed numerous institutions within the city to cut the cost of under-populated schools and pushed kids to other schools that are not in their neighborhood.  All in an effort to become more efficient.  So far the plans they hatched, cracked, cooked and shitted out are not working.  As I said, I attended and graduated from DPS and here is the short version of the history of my former schools.  The first school I ever attended was Sanders Elementary School.

This was the only picture I could find of the place because it was demolished very early in this century.  As you can see, once I left there it was no question where I was going next. The school right across the baseball field was my next stop and that was – Harry B. Hutchins Intermediate School. Every day I looked forward to crossing through these doors in anticipation to learn ANYTHING.

This school held a special place in my heart.  It was here that I was exposed to my love of science through DAPCEP, was inducted into the National Junior Honor’s Society, developed my personal style, learned to swim, got paddled on the hand when I was out of line and experienced my first school dance.  It was a wonderful time but as times and populations changed so did my beloved middle school.  Here’s a small slide show of the place that cultivated someone eager to learn continually. (Some pictures including are courtesy of this site.)

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You will notice that my middle and elementary schools were a standoff point during the Detroit ’67 riots.  After leaving this school, some family concerns forced me to split from my friends and I entered Beaubien Junior High School and went to Mumford for a short spell.  All to return to the same high school my entire Detroit family graduated from – Northern Senior High School.  NorthernHighSchool

This is the only institution still in functioning order.  The only difference now is it’s home to the Detroit International Academy for Young Women.  I’m sure you can imagine all of the memories I created within these halls and the expectations I had as I became a parent. The education was sufficient even though we could have had more but the budget never allowed us to get everything the teachers wanted for us.  We made due with what we had, we succeeded and I graduated in 1998.

The Diploma

So you can imagine my frustration when I kept looking for the answers to where his educational tools were.  The tools I was looking for were books.  Books for all his classes. There was one day I asked him about homework and he showed me a picture on his phone.  What kinda lazy shit was this?! He told me, this is what he needed to do because they do not have books to give each child.  WHAT?!  Are you implying they don’t have money to get you all the supplies you need?  He couldn’t give me an answer but in his 3 years within the Detroit Public School system, he has only brought a book home twice and that was when he stole it out the building.  So, you need to steal to get an education in Detroit in 2015?  This was and is unacceptable.  I had more questions the teachers/administrators could not answer.  So when the shit hit the fan about the “sick outs”, I was on board.  These are the concerns I have been having.  Not only for my son but all of the children.  Why?  I’m seeing the reports stating “Detroit students are not prepared for college when they leave high school.”  Was this a bad side effect of no child left behind?  My mind continued to race for information and resources to get answers.  My mom told me about a state representative that was explaining all the details at the church and brought me some literature to read.  I read it but it still wasn’t clear to me.  I didn’t get any solid answers until the beginning of 2016.  The SICK OUTS finally hit Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School.  In a quick crawl through social media, I was given an over abundance of information.  Let’s start with a declining timeline which begins right after my graduation year.

Schools

The writing is right there in this infographic supplied by one of the educators within my circle of Facebook friends.  Feel free to open it up and take a good look at it.  From Surplus to bust with almost 120k missing students in the last 17 years.  Where are the students? Falling over into neighboring districts for an opportunity at better.

Enrollments

This wasn’t even an option for me.  The kid wanted to go to KING and who was I to deny him his dream.  I graduated from DPS and I was alright.  I needed to know what was so wrong that they needed to go this far to protest in the middle of a school year.  Things should be better by now.  Nope, my timeline was littered with the truth.  This information was disturbing. Here’s some of it:

Parents

Teachers

Bad Deal

These were the answers I had been looking for but didn’t want to find.  The system was failing our children on a higher level and the parents had no idea.  The teachers have taken all they could and now they wanted action.  In my support for them I found more upsetting information about our schools:

Horror House Unhealthy

I posted these things and videos to show what was going on and my frustration with the way our children’s welfare is being handled.  The institution my son attends does not have any visible signs of wear, I can see, from my numerous visits inside.  This for me was about the community and being a voice for those that I felt needed my help.  During all of this the one thing that kept jumping out at me, was everything minorities have been through to obtain an education in a land that provides it to its residents and I became angrier and focused on learning how I could help.  I used my social media pages to spread the word to parents of DPS kids, charter school kids and children outside the district.  The community needed to become outraged. Generally speaking, we all are products of DPS that have ventured off but this is the system that showed us there was more for us in this world.  How dare them deny our young for whatever reasons they may have?!  Hell, we’re only one generation out of school before this decline began happening.

This system was already FUCKED up when my son got there in 2013.  I made a plea to leave this place for better and he chose to stay in this school.  He and I have talked about teachers that have walked out on them and never returned.  He’s been through more substitutes and abandoning teachers than I have had my entire scholastic career.  Then people wonder why the students are having an even harder time learning.  They can’t adjust to the daily changes that are happening at home and then school as well.  The only consistent thing some of them have is their friends.  That’s also lofty idea because there are still parents ripping their kids from the district in search of better than THIS. He’s been bounced around from class to class in search of instructors or lack there of. They don’t know if the teacher is coming back or they have to fend for themselves.  This certainly isn’t a way to learn or trust the education system.

It’s not enough to say the system was already bad.  It’s not an option to relocate these children in haste.  It’s not fair to give the appearance that learning is being done and it’s not.  Have we lost our will to fight for what we believe is fair?  Have we turned a blind eye to the educational needs of our children?  Is the future of our children less important than our own?  I do not want to accept yes to these questions. With four Emergency Managers over the Detroit Public Schools, no one has found solutions for the EMERGENCY of these children not receiving a proper education in the wake of financial ruin – year after year.  As the old saying goes, “desperate times call for desperate measures.”  We’re desperate if you can’t tell.

#SupportTheTeachers

#StandUpForTheStudents

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been sharing the different events in my life with your for almost 4 years.  Over the pats couple weeks, I’ve been thinking of other ways to communicate with you.  This would be a way for you to attach the voice with the words I write.  The YouTube channel (Bmisunderstood) has been very interesting to me.  However, looking through hundreds of channels, I’ve decided to organize my content for the best delivery to the viewers.  This would include my how-tos, beloved favorites, book recommendations and thrift shop finds.  There may also be a few get ready with me and “Conversations with Momma.”  I’m excited and you can expect at least two videos a month.

In the meantime, you can catch me ranting, raving and discussing my latest posts and other items on my mind via Periscope.  You can follow me @Stoical127 to watch my live broadcasts.  As much as you all have connected with me, I would like to see all of you that have been following me over the years.  We’ll give these things a shot at connecting us further.

Be sure to let me know what you think!   🙂

You could call me a late bloomer when it came to the social media craze. I never was on Black Planet or MySpace. Facebook was the 1st vehicle I drove and that began in 2009. This was solely to promote a business venture. After 24 hours, I had connected with people I had not seen in years (almost a decade). The newness of FB wore off and I journeyed to Twitterland. This was a place to express my real time sentiment without judgement or filters. Somehow that joy has run its course.

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After 12780 tweets, the account of Marlea Z. Wilson or @stoical127 was sent into auto-pilot. I kept saying after I tweet my birthday (1/27/80) I was going to walk away. It was hard. After working in social media for almost 2 years, the last thing I think about is tweeting in my spare time. Due to the blog being linked to my Twitter account, there are more than 12,780 now. It’s still a vehicle for readers to use to get updates on my latest posting.

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There are a lot of days when I have so much to say, but I refrain from checking in to Twitter. I miss it some what because it’s very entertaining to read the tweets, convos and infamous direct messages. Moreover, I think I’ve added a few more hours back into my life by not scrolling so much, lol. The increase in time was contagious and Instagram felt a slight reduction as well.

I’m sure I won’t be missed much because my followers still know how to find me. What more could I ask for from Twitter, I chatted with Oprah. If you check the date on this tweet and my 1st blog post, I bet you can surmise the impact this had on me. So with no further ado, let the 2014 countdown begin!! 🙂

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Sleeping Beauty hair garments is a small start up built on one principle – to achieve the best head of hair through quality products and hairducation. So when we started our Instagram page we spent a great deal of energy promoting our products. Over time we’ve broaden our scope to include information and have built relationships with people from all over the world. These individuals include @sonappy_kinky a natural young lady living in Sweden! Hello to all my Swedish readers! She always arrives on the page to like post, comment on pictures and suggest alternatives for treatments. So when she reached out to me about being apart of an event she was planning I got excited. First of all, I thought about what I was going to wear in Sweden. Then she informed me that she was interested in doing a giveaway. With no hesitation I said – YES!

The details for the contest can be found on her blog Nappy & Kinky – the road to “good hair”. There is a chance to win a scarf or bonnet made from these fabrics.

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You only have 2 more days to enter!! I thought some of you might be interested in winning your very own garment from Sleeping Beauty! Looks like the world is ready for us. Good luck! 🙂

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The funniest thing I’ve heard is society made you a job! I think the reason it’s so funny is because they’re RIGHT!!! Who would have thought after my educational training, employment experience & knowledge of social media, I’d be tweeting for a living! I guess it’s better than stripping or dancing! Lol

The beginning of the year I began the journey of professional Twitter hawk for – I know I never told you! Here goes – General Motors! From the inside of their international headquarters in downtown Detroit. I know I kept my trap shut about the specifics but I know all my readers are super intelligent and you probably already figured it out.

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I’ll be the 1st to tell you that the job is fun and exciting. However, you have to be careful as not to become too comfortable with the socializing aspect while remaining professional for the company! I’ve seen so many things while monitoring the potential customers Ivan interact with! Let me say this some of the things people put up on Twitter literally take my breath away. Another factor of performing this type of work is that I rarely tweet from my personal account. We can call that an occupational hazard but I’m cool with it.

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If you ever have a question about your GM vehicle, feel free to tweet us! I go by ^MW. They even have my face of the customer care page of two brands. I’ll let you figure those out. When I started college some many moons ago I never thought I’d end up in the automotive industry. My goal was always to be downtown though. We can conclude that 2 out of 3 ain’t bad! 😉

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So for all of you that left Facebook and went to Instagram, Keek and wherever y’all went, these groups added some needed sunshine on those NOT so positive days.  I know a lot of those groups be on that “BS”.  Just so happens that I found a few that have helped me out and created a place for a few other associates and friends.  It has truly been an experience being in the company of good people who just wanna have a good time.  And believe me that’s just what we do.  No drama (limited if you count a few incidents), more drinks than should be allowed and enough laughter to electrify Highland Park. (That’s a small suburb within the Detroit city limits)  You’d have to be there to know what I mean.  So I’m gonna shout them out right now in alphabetical order.  Let’s start with WOYM or What’s On Your Mind.  I had no idea how I ended up with this group of people but when I noticed my partner in crime Bronze added me.  I said “Okay then!”  I’ve had a ball since I’ve been with these people.  People from all walks of life.  It was within this group that I met the author Shaka Senghor, a Michigan state trooper and a retired NBA player.  WOYM has proven to be a great place for networking.  We’ve managed to meet every 1st Friday for a get together.  I’ll admit I’ve missed a few but they knew where my heart was…

XF is the term for my Extended Family and although Lady Taylor and AJ are the parents, my JuJu is something like Madea!!!! Lol, this group is under the same guideline as the other but it’s a closer grouping of people.  The exclusiveness of the group is what keeps us going.  We just don’t talk on Facebook we meet for lunch, attend functions together and most importantly support each other.  Through the group I was offered a photo shoot opportunity and as much as I want my own pictures taken I used it for the betterment of my other goals.  GBF as we so frequently call him extended the service of IVphotography.  We’ve fed the homeless, partied in our pjs and are getting ready to skate a night away, (not me of course but I’ll be there.)  XF was designed to be just that an extension of the families we belong to respectively willing to help one another move forward professionally.

 

The last group is YOU. 🙂 Because you know who you are.  It was with you that I took the time out and learned a little bit more about myself and my feet.  Our time together was our time together our time apart is our time apart.  But I’ll never forget you 😉  All these groups created memories and relationships that won’t die if Facebook does.  There’s no reason that they have to because we’ve crossed the boundary that Facebook has created in other places… We actually KNOW each other.  I love you all!!! xoxo