There are a host of other related messages that have long since been received by the African-American community throughout the history of this country; this is yet another page in that thick book.
In the middle of thinking about this, I had a telephone conversation with a very wise friend last night. He reminded me that the most important thing about someone is not what they are against, but what they are for. What one is willing to build, not what one wishes to see destroyed.
Me: I want to build.
Very fortunately, I was asked by Chris Lehmann of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia to help a group of educators come up with a lesson plan to use in class - TOMORROW - with their students to talk about the Jordan Davis case and the larger issues surrounding the case. TOMORROW, so the story just doesn't disappear. TOMORROW, so that the memory of what happened remains.
It has been a miracle of crowdsourced educational thought. The product that resulted from the efforts of Chris, Jose Vilson, Melinda Anderson, Alexa Dunn, Joshua Block, Zac Chase, Diana Laufenberg, John Spencer, Matt Kay, Luz Maria Rojas, Audrey Watters, Bill Fitzgerald, and me (to a VERY VERY SMALL EXTENT) is one that I'd like to see teachers across the country spend time with tomorrow.
We are trying to build something out of a tragedy. We are trying to figure out how to turn a too-common occurrence - a murder racially motivated - that too often gets taken for granted and make it have some amount of meaning. To create a lever that, perhaps with the right fulcrum, could move the world just a bit in a positive direction.
I am proud and gratified to have played my tiny role, but prouder still of the people who stepped up and created and organized this. Please follow the link below if you are interested in seeing what is possible. Education can move mountains. It must.