Closing out week two of the 1619freedomschool and, oh, my heart. This is the most important thing I’ve ever done. We intended to serve 20 students but couldn’t bear to turn children away so are serving 35. We have throw pillows and blankets because we want children to feel comfortable, loved, embraced. They are learning from master Black educators, some of them for the first time. Many of you have sent donations to support this effort. We’ve raised $167k in individual donations since we announced! I am so grateful to you all for investing in our children. Stay tuned. ALSO: Authors, if you’d like to donate books, please let me know! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
This one truly left me speechless. I’ve been watching the naacpimageawards for what feels like my entire life. So, to receive this particular honor after the last 2.5 years of people trying to discredit the 1619 Project, to get this recognition from my own people, is all the vindication I need. Thank you for honoring me in this way. I hope to live up to my calling.
The 1619freedomschool officially opened its doors in my hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, to our first 30 students yesterday and I could not be more proud of these students and their families and their fierce commitment to knowledge of self and literacy. This free after school program is a community effort, the product of a team of Black women (rittabluelove korporatecandy joy_sallis lori_ann_dale joydanielle61 )who saw a need in our community and decided to stop complaining about it and do something. We were inspired by the Freedom Schools of the 1960s and we in turn hope to inspire other communities across the nation. This day was made possible by so many donors and supporters who believed what we believe: That our neediest children are deserving of the greatest investment. That our families DO value an education, we just too often provide them facilities and teaching that show them WE don’t value their education. Join us as we prove society wrong about our children.
2021 was one of the most challenging and yet liberating years of my life. I feel at the age of 45, I came fully into my own power. It was a year of unexpected turns, of unbelievable lows and unprecedented highs. I was tested and disrespected. 2021 was the year I said, clearly and unapologetically, that I refuse. Grateful for all 2021 taught me. I was supported. Most of all, I was loved, uplifted, affirmed, by so many of you. Entering 2022 with resolve and clarity, with the same unflinching sense of mission and the same zest for life that gives me the audacity to wear this fire-engine red hair. As I keep saying: I am built for this. Here’s to making it to another year and all the promises of another chance to be better. Happy New Year.