So this happened.
Thursday, November 17th, Project Renaissance and local Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) organizer Neonta Williams invited Howard L. Fuller, BAEO’s founder and Chair Emeritus, to Nashville. The extremely well-organized breakfast was specifically for Nashville’s clergy, but other community leaders (mostly ed reformers) were sprinkled throughout the crowd, and at least one deplorable (me).
We were also fortunate to experience a dance presentation from the South Inglewood Community Center dance troupe. The young ladies hail from different East Nashville-area Metro Schools.
Howard Fuller’s reputation preceded him, but did the man little justice. The man has a vitae as long as constitution of the United States, but doesn’t see the need to smack you in the face with his credentials. Instead, he speaks both anecdotally and encyclopedically, (he can easily reference a book AND a chapter in said book) demonstrating his experience and education. And as the president of BAEO Jacqueline Cooper succinctly, but eloquently put it, “He is the truth!”
Yes, he IS the truth and drops truths bombs that cut to the quick forcing one to self-assess and, in some cases, warranting a self-imposed timeout. Mr. Fuller does not mince words so there’s absolutely zero opportunity to ponder intent. He says what he means and means what he says with little concern for the listeners’ feelings. For his bottom line is children’s success, specifically and unapologetically black children. You can take it or leave it.
I made a valiant attempt to live-tweet Mr. Fuller’s keynote, but my exuberance won out over professionalism. So I missed a few things between clapping and yelling amen. Apologies. Enjoy a few Mr. Fuller’s gifts to our group:
And I’ll end with this:
Amen and amen, again.