It's been a while since I've last written on here. My opinions, thoughts, and perspectives have increased and changed immensely since I've been back from Africa. I'm now more concerned with the lives of black students here in Chicago and in Africa. The problems, however, that we are experiencing here in Chicago is nothing compared to the problems that students in Africa, particulary in South Africa which is where I was. SA is believed to be the #1 AIDS capital in the world. The effect that HIV/AIDS has on schools and students is another chapter, better yet, another book in its own right. The youth there are almost directly impacted by the effects of AIDS, just as the youth here are directly impacted by violence, economic, and other sociopolitical problems. This has led me to believe that the educational systems that serve students of color are experiencing global-wide problems that are directly affecting their lives. This is an area that I plan to research in the future.
But being back in Chicago from Africa has really helped me to shape my views on politics, economics, history, race, and sociology here. I must say that I am far from pleased as to what I am concluding. I would even claim that some of the problems that blacks (in Chicago and in Africa) are facing are NOT coincidental and there is sufficient reasoning for me to question the motives of the government and the United Nations. But I do have to watch what I say though.....
I must say that I do miss the family and the people who I met while I was in South Africa. I think about them everyday. When I was there, I set up a pen pal system. I had the students there to write letters to my students here in Chicago. I still have the letters and I'll give them to my students probably next week sometime. When they write the letters, I'll mail them off to Africa. I'm going to try and get them connected to their pen pal on facebook too.
But as a young black teacher, I am very concerned about the welfare of our children. I am plainly concerned about the welfare of black people in Chicago, especially when looking at the conditions of our health and school systems. We will see what happens.