For Police Encounters #5 I will focus on a time when I was about 22 years of age. During that time (1993) I was living in East Oakland on 55th Ave. and Scoville St. This particular encounter was quick, but remains perplexing and haunting. During this season of life I lifted weights and worked out five times a week, Monday-Friday. Diego’s Power Alley Gym was a classic, popular, and intimate East Oakland spot and that is where I worked out while I lived in East Oakland. Additionally the owner is a pillar of Oakland and was a good influence to be around. The gym was on Foothill Blvd., just a few blocks from my house and it was easy for me to get there on foot. I could simply put on my workout gear, walk to the gym, hit the iron, and walk home. Read the rest of this entry
Bro. Dorris Pitts was the model example of what it meant and means to be a Christian, minister, preacher, and friend. He typifies The Unshakeable Fabric of a Preacher. From the moment Dorris Pitts asked me to be the preacher of the congregation, my life has been qualitatively and radically changed. Through his uncanny ability at being a walking inspiration, he ignited a biblical spark for exegesis and Christian living that continues to burn within my soul. Many of the current California Bay Area preachers were trained and mentored by Bro. Pitts. Men such as Joe C. Pitts, Willie Brown, Sr., Sammy L. Jones Sr., Dr. Carl Brinkley, Lee Henderson, James Walker Sr., Solomon (Teddy) Jones, Greg Brinkley, Chris Brinkley, and more. Because of the tremendous impact of Dorris Pitts — all of these men continue to be passionate preachers of the gospel.
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In the sphere of public education, if we are not careful the disciplinary measures we apply to students can be more out of a mindset of punishment, as opposed to a form of discipline that aims to help students engage in a holistic process to learn from their mistakes, misbehaviors, or even blatantly flagrant actions. Managing discipline is hard because through the process of applying, determining, or giving out a consequence, it is often triangulated with pressure from all sides for a perfect outcome. When at the admin level the decision must be acceptable for the teacher, student, family, and maybe even district office folks. When the discipline is at the classroom level the outcome must be acceptable to the student, family, fellow-teachers, and school admin. Through it all, the world of discipline requires a certain level of finesse, tough skin, deep cultural understanding and responsiveness, love, and patience. Read the rest of this entry
Working in the trenches of public education is a very esoteric experience and rhythm to many outside our profession. Regardless of your position or role in this vocation, there are some things that you experience on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that many in society struggle to understand and or believe. Because of this reality, the importance of self-care is pivotal. As practitioners in public education, it is essential that we find ways to engage in self-care because our work is relentless, unending, fast-paced, and sometimes un-reciprocal and emotionally painful. Read the rest of this entry
Cosmically we find ourselves in a very perplexing condition. There are so many elements of life where people are seeking an explanation for the evil and dark things that occur locally and globally. We wonder why bad conditions can be absorbed by the perceivably good. Without an anchored faith in Christ, the earthly world in which we live could only be understood as an ultimate platform of injustice. But through the grace of God, He has an answer. Not everyone is willing to embrace His solutionary scheme, but He has a justice and redemption plan for humanity. Read the rest of this entry
Of all the symbols, images, sayings, and announcements on June 26, 2015; the day the Supreme Court of America ruled same-sex marriage legal across the nation, the illuminated caption of the White House in Gay Pride colored-lights captured and gripped my psyche the most. All of this should be expected. I am actually surprised at the Christians who are surprised by the ruling. I have no expectation for the Legislative, Judicial, or Executive governmental branches of America to operate under or uphold a biblical ethos or motif. That is the pure work of the church.
Have you been going through the same thing for a while, which leaves you constantly feeling as if there is no way out? Maybe you feel like you are in the movie Ground Hogs Day and you are constantly waking up only to find that you are in the same scene in life. If so, then you are having a wilderness experience. Read the rest of this entry
America has reached a point where the subliminal veil of pervasive injustice has been categorically removed and a bright light is now shining on its powerful and suppressive essence. The erroneous thought of living in a post-racial America is truly a façade. This reality, though intellectually denied and refuted through a lens of privilege, is now forcing all of humanity, at least those who elect to be privy to and abreast of National and International events of racial trauma, to make choices, espouse a position, or retreat behind the Eurocentric hegemonic walls of superiority, colorblindness, supremacy, imperialism, and racism.
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Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. Read the rest of this entry
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:26-27). Read the rest of this entry