1914 Howard University Students in Shaw

I wanted to see if by chance Arthur B. McKinney was in a Howard University yearbook. The yearbooks or student yearbook type publications go as far back as 1914. I did not spot him in that yearbook. I don’t know if those things covered the medical school.

But I did spot something interesting, addresses. This was not repeated in later yearbooks. So here is a small list of the students in Shaw:

Annie H. Catlett- 943 (or 913) St St NW

Frank Robert Cook- 1636 10th St NWCeretta Desmukes- 209 O St NW

Mark E. Rivers- 103 or 403 U St NWWalter S. Savoy- 1325 12th St NW

Herbert L. Stevens- 922 Florida Avenue NW

 

 

Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 3: How We Drifted Away From The Truth

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro. This post is rated PG-13 for language.

According to Ancestry DNA African American ancestors hail from Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast/ Ghana, sub-Saharan parts of Africa. However, they didn’t have DNA tests in the 1930s, so Carter G. Woodson would not have known this. Even if he did, it probably would not have stopped him from being a booster for all of Africa.

So in this 3rd chapter Woodson is critical of the Eurocentric nature of history and other subjects being taught. His very valid points:

In geography the races were described in conformity with the program of the usual propaganda to engender in whites a race hate of the Negro, and in the Negroes contempt for themselves. A poet of distinction was selected to illustrate the physical features of the white race, a bedecked chief of a tribe those of the red a proud warrior the brown, a prince the yellow, and a savage with a ring in his nose the black the Negro, of course, stood at the foot of the social ladder.

However there is a very practical problem. Literacy. Until someone literate shows up (usually to bitch about you) your history is limited to the best guesses of the anthropologists. Feel free to correct me in the comments, Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 3: How We Drifted Away From The Truth

Carter G. Woodson – Chapter 2: How We Missed the Mark

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

In this chapter Woodson looks at the history of education for African Americans after the Civil War. I just finished an audiobook that threw general criticism of Southern education, and Woodson does here too a bit. “The participation of the freedmen in government for a few years during the period known as the Reconstruction had little bearing on their situation except that they did join with the uneducated poor whites in bringing about certain much-desired social reforms, especially in giving the South its first plan of democratic education in providing for a school system at public expense.

In this chapter, the way I’m reading it, Woodson is not happy with the practicality of AfAm education, in addition to the quality.

Others more narrow-minded than the advocates of industrial education, seized upon the idea, feeling that, although the Negro must have some semblance of education, it would be a fine stroke to be able to make a distinction between the training given the Negro and that provided for the whites. Inasmuch as the industrial educational idea rapidly gained ground, too, many Negroes for political purposes began to espouse it; and schools and colleges hoping thereby to obtain money worked out accordingly makeshift provisions for such instruction, although they could not satisfactorily offer it. A few real industrial schools actually equipped themselves for this work and turned out a number of graduates with such preparation. Continue reading Carter G. Woodson – Chapter 2: How We Missed the Mark

Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble part 2

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro. Find part 1 here.

So there was a problem with Black college education:

When a Negro has finished his education in our schools, then, he has been equipped to begin the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man, but before he steps from the threshold of his alma mater he is told by his teachers that he must go back to his own people from whom he has been estranged by a vision of ideals which in his disillusionment he will realize that he cannot attain.

In a previous paragraph he wrote:

In schools of journalism Negroes are being taught how to edit such metropolitan dailies as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, which would hardly hire a Negro as a janitor; and when these graduates come to the Negro weeklies for employment they are not prepared to function in such establishments, which, to be successful, must be built upon accurate knowledge of the psychology and philosophy of the Negro.

In my earlier post on this chapter I took a quote about how successful African-Americans were uneducated. These were the entrepreneurs of the age. Woodson points out the problem that college graduates from HBCUs, could not work in their fields of study because they were not white. They are not prepared, Woodson contends, to work in the places where they can be hired because they do not understand their customer nor their employer, because of their education.

For the arduous task of serving a race thus handicapped, however, the Negro graduate has had little or no training at all. The people whom he has been ordered to serve have been belittled by his teachers to the extent that he can hardly find delight in undertaking what his education has led him to think is impossible. Considering his race as blank in achievement, then, he sets out to stimulate their imitation of others The performance is kept up a while; but, like any other effort at meaningless imitation, it results in failure.

There is a paragraph I’ve very temped to skip and because of that I will include it: Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble part 2

Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble part 1

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

Post long disclaimer- I feel I need to mention my background and biases. I have a graduate degree studying Modern European History. As an undergrad, I studied Early Modern European History, mainly focusing on the Tudors, the Stuarts and Ireland. Why? Because those were the classes where I got better grades. I learned my lesson losing a scholarship for 1 year due to poor grades (failed Business school math), I stuck with the classes that upped my GPA. I took one class on African History.

I studied the ‘Atlantic World’ looking at the triangle trade taking place between Europe, Africa and the New World. For some reason, I wrote a grad school paper comparing South African agriculture and the sharecropping system in the US South regarding Black people. So I have a tiny bit of South African history under my belt.

That said, I have my opinions when I read Woodson’s words on ‘our history.’ I also understand he was a man of his time and the challenges of what was being taught in the public school system and in Black colleges were real. That challenge was that the education system dismissed the Negro (I’m going to use his words) and the African.

“At a Negro summer school two years ago, a white instructor gave a course on the Negro, using for his text a work which teaches that whites are superior to the blacks. When asked by one of the students why he used such a textbook the instructor replied that he wanted them to get that point of view. Even schools for Negroes, then, are places where they must be convinced of their inferiority. “

So that was a problem.

“Practically all of the successful Negroes in this country are of the uneducated type or of that of Negroes who have had no formal education at all. The large majority of the Negroes who have put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people.”

It doesn’t really get any better. He pretty much considers the Black college graduate useless.

Last quote for this post : “And even in the certitude of science or mathematics it has been unfortunate that the approach to the Negro has been borrowed from a “foreign” method. For example, the teaching of arithmetic in the fifth grade in a backward county in Mississippi should mean one thing in the Negro school and a decidedly different thing in the white school. The Negro children, as a rule, come from the homes of tenants and peons who have to migrate annually from plantation to plantation, looking for light which they have never seen. The children from the homes of white planters and merchants live permanently in the midst of calculations, family budgets, and the like, which enable them sometimes to learn more by contact than the Negro can acquire in school. Instead of teaching such Negro children less arithmetic, they should be taught much more of it than the white children, for the latter attend a graded school consolidated by free transportation when the Negroes go to one-room rented hovels to be taught without equipment and by incompetent teachers educated scarcely beyond the eighth grade.”

I have no doubt whatsoever that Black schools lacked equipment. The one room school house or ‘rented hovel’ as Woodson puts it, could be part of a romantic past or nightmarish past, depending on how dark or rose colored the viewer’s glasses. But the “incompetent teachers” comment seems a bit harsh and cruel. Who do you think was teaching these Black children? Black teachers, products of Black colleges. My mother’s sisters and sister-in-laws were all teachers at one point in their lives, products of HBCUs, so the comments cut a little.

My grandmother, born and raised in North Carolina, had a 6th grade education. So she didn’t even make it to the eighth grade. She could read. She could write well enough to communicate her thoughts and maintain addresses in her address book. Maybe do simple math (that I’m unsure of). She was prepared enough to be a sharecropper’s wife.

Woodson will mention “foreigners” and “foreign” a few times in ways that make me uncomfortable because I think it hints of antisemitism. This was the early 1930s so distrusting and bad mouthing Jews was all the rage. And we know where that led. However here, in this paragraph it doesn’t have that connotation.

 

Twinning School of Truxton Circle

This is from the pile of stuff I have on my computer about DC History and while reviewing Church Survey uploads that hadn’t a lot of views, I noticed this one. I got this from the Sumner School Archives, a great resource and it is from DCPS Public School Buildings Past and Present, which appears to be an unpublished manuscript.

The Twinning School used to be a school at 3rd and O Streets NW. It was an 8 room school house built in 1883 and demolished sometime around the time Dunbar expanded. When it served as a school it was a segregated white school. It appears that it served as a school for white students until 1918. It became a school for African American students in 1925. In 1930 the Truxton Circle neighborhood was predominately African-American. It soon got absorbed by Armstrong on the other end of the block and became an auxiliary building. Now there is an empty field where it stood.

Twining School by Mm Inshaw

Education Rock and Hard Place

Since my blogging at Citymoms is supposed to be more positive, I’m going to post here.

Virtual Pre-K

So we had a video session with Destructo’s new teacher and classmates. It did not go all that well. My spouse is a hopeful man and despite all the disastrous Zoom sessions with his daycare and Sunday school group, with kids he knew and liked, he thinks the virtual classroom thing is going to work going forward. I think trying to hold a wriggly and loud toddler still for a camera, 2 seconds after he’s lost interest, is an unnamed circle of Dante’s Inferno.

Virtual classroom learning is not for everyone. It is clearly not Destructo’s style. Have you ever taken a Lynda.com course? I highly recommend it and it’s free through the DC Library. However, I have to be very motivated to finish a full course, and I’m an adult. Destructo is a hands on boy who needs positive peer pressure with kids around his own age or older.

But he’s not going to be in a classroom anytime soon. My theory is things don’t get back to normal until 2022. I’m not going to force him to sit in front of a screen for any amount of time. Some Pre-K kids do well with the virtual environment, ours doesn’t. Until things get back to normal, we’re going to have to cobble together something. While in the middle of moving. I feel like I’m juggling sippy cups, not disastrous if something drops, but still a mess.

Schools between rock and a hard place

Teachers, school supers and boards have my sympathy. If this was actually temporary, this would have been a bump that could have been remedied with extra in school time. But we are where we are. Whatever the powers that be do, they are damned. They don’t open, lots of kids’ educations will suffer, educational inequality will get worse, special needs will not be met, and minors’ mental health will degrade. They do open, they will be blamed for spreading the virus, not keeping kids safe, endangering compromised staff and students, and be liable to possible lawsuits. They open partially, then they get all of the damnation and I’ve mentioned the problem with virtual learning.

Asking schools to have a good universal virtual learning programming for all grades for Fall is akin to expecting a mom and pop eatery to be a Michelin starred or bib gourmand listed within the first year. It could happen, but highly unlikely.  There are kinks to be worked out, lessons to be learned, and discoveries of what does and doesn’t work. Despite all the happy positive talk, I don’t expect DCPS, DC Charters or any school system to hit the ground running without falling face flat. I don’t expect students to get the same or better level of education they would have gotten in an in-person space.

Looking Forward

We have a bunch of balls in the air. We are in temporary digs. Like many, we’re working from home. We are trying to get our long time home on the market and later find new digs close to family and the Help’s church friends. The potty training and any decent education is on the side burner.

We keep saying to ourselves that once we get settled, we’ll see what we can do with Destructo’s Sunday school buddies. We’ll look into a nanny share or attempting to hire a nanny. Because of the age cut offs in Maryland vs DC, Destructo isn’t eligible to transfer to private MD Pre-K3 from his DCPS public school. Waiting lists are going to be crazy.

And because people like trying to send parents on guilt trips, don’t even. Unless you’re a child care provider offering hours of free care, keep it to yourself. Many parents all over this country are making hard decisions. Some have choices, some don’t and the availability of those choices change day by day. This pandemic has stolen options and removed safety nets.

So we got our DC School Lottery Results

First off, we’d pretty much given up on caring that much. The daycare that Destructo is one of those few child development centers that offers free Pre-K 3 and 4. I was angling for something a bit fancier but due to Destructo’s not being fully potty trained, put a monkeywrench in the ranking order. So maybe next year. Also we’re eying an exodus from this lovely city for career reasons in the near future, so there’s that too.

Anyway, here is what we got in the email today.

My school DC waitilist resultsYes, I knew we had a snowball’s chance in the hottest part of Hell of getting into Mundo Verde. If we got in or if his waitlist number (not shown) wasn’t 3 digits, I’d be fast tracking that potty training. For reasons, too gross to put here, I believe he has more control over his body than he’s letting on. Same thing for Yu Ying, which is also a three digit waitlist number.

If I could have found something about proximity as a preference for Cleveland Elementary, I would have. Cleveland is closer to our home than our in-boundary school Seaton. But I didn’t see anything about proximity, so apparently that wasn’t a factor…. maybe. Our waitlist number for both Cleveland slots is thirty-something.

I love the fact that DC has school choice. I didn’t have to choose a school based on an address. When I bought my house, almost 20 years ago, I was a single childless woman, so what school boundary I was in was immaterial. Looking at where we’d move to in the land of Maryland drivers, yeah, elementary school boundaries are a concern. It also helps that Seaton is our in-boundary school, which isn’t that bad, and there are a couple of good charters in walking distance.

Looking at our top 5 which actually is a top 4, you can guess what we found important. Language. What do Cleveland Elementary (DCPS), Yu Ying PCS, and Mundo Verde PCS have in common? Dual language programs. Destructo is getting a bit of that at his daycare, ad hoc, but I don’t think Tagalog is a language he can take with him past Pre-K 4.

I appreciate an article written in the Post profiling 8 families and what went into their lottery choices. I get that people want to have families choose in-boundary or neighborhood schools over charters and out of boundary DCPS schools. But the reality is some schools suck. And I have a good memory of what DC schools were like in the 1990s and early 00s, and schools have improved, but they aren’t equal to all students. We and other parents, make decisions based on what we think is best for our family or our individual kids. We only have one, but I know kids, even in the same family are different. And the school that worked for kid #1 may not work for kid #2. Same for the neighborhood school that may work for kids 1-11, but not kid #12, #32, #57 or #71- 102. And programs take time to develop and by the time it’s ready for the kids it was promised to, those individual kids have moved on.

Anyway, I hope your waitlist number was low, or you got into the school of your choice, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Shaw School Review: Friendship PCS- Armstrong Elementary

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Friendship PCS- Armstrong Elementary
1400 1st St. NW or 111 O St NW

Type of school: Public Charter
Grades: PK3-5 (Note: Middle School for 2020 grades 4-8)
Before & After School care: Yes. Contact school. Prob. $70 a week for before and after care.
Enrollment: 417 (2019-20)
PreK3: 55; PreK4: 72; K: 63; 1st: 40; 2nd: 65; 3rd: 38; 4th: 37; 5th: 47
PCS LEA 1 Programmatic Capacity: 900; Unfilled seats 499 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- No figures found. Apparently those numbers will be available later in 2020 or 2021.

Attracts Students From These DCPS schools (2017-18), 10 students or more

Name of School # of Students
Thomas Elementary School 17
Truesdell Education Campus 10
Walker-Jones Education Campus 88
Browne Education Campus 23
Langley Elementary School 15
Seaton Elementary School 36
Cleveland Elementary School 13

Physical activity: Grades K-5: 65.00 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations
Black White Hispanic Pac. Is/Native Am.
ELA 2018-19 9.2% n<10 n<10 n<10
Math 2018-19 22.9% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males ELA 7.3% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males Math 18.2% n<10 n<10 n<10

Views from Dunbar High SchoolMari’s 2 cents

I chose the picture of Armstrong before it was renovated. Friendship is the second charter school to take over the building. I almost feel that I should have a photo of the Langston school to show the importance of charters on the neighborhood. However, Langston is so far long gone no charter, no matter how well funded, isn’t going to touch it, unless the neighboring Slater building comes with.

I should write about the program. As the mom of a toddler, I should point out this is one of the few (the only I found) charters that seems forgiving when it comes to potty training. KIPP and Mundo Verde demand that students be potty trained.

They will have an open house on

Sources:
https://www.myschooldc.org/schools/profile/150
https://www.dcschoolreportcard.org/schools/120-0269
Copy of EdScape_Chapter 3 Facilities_Facility Enrollment and Utilization_6
2018-19 School Year Annual Enrollment Audit Report Supplemental Tables
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance

Truxton Black History Link- Dunbar Cadet Corps

Right now the Library of Congress website is being very uncooperative. They have photographs of Dunbar High School girl cadets from the 1940s. So instead I’m going to link to someone else’s old blog post about the boys’ cadet corps circa 1950-1960.

It’s a pretty good post with photos from the Dunbar High School year book describing what the cadet corps did and their history. The author, Marion Woodfork Simmons,  said that the cadet corps was the precursor to the JROTC. My niece is in the JROTC at our (I & her mom – my sister- went there too) Florida high school. She’s interested in the Navy. Anwho, it seems Dunbar still has an JROTC program.