Aug 22, 2008

Going 'Black' to school

By Reginald James

Back in the days when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.
Those are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs and an all-time Hip Hop classic. The song instantly invokes memories of going Back-to-School. Cartoon character backpacks and lunchboxes, school clothes, and the girls I missed all summer-long.
These days, school doesn’t always have such sweet memories. It’s about getting good classes, a decent schedule, financial aid and text books, and preparing to transfer. Basically, much stress.
I’ve learned to be real stingy with my time. Not to be mean, but I can’t just ‘go outside and play’ these days. School is usually followed by work or studying.
Time management is of utmost importance; and not just managing, but prioritization. You have to make sure you are dedicated to completing your goals and not just distracting daily tasks.
You must protect your health too. Don’t just go for junk food. Eat foods that will feed your brain and empower you to be your best. You are the best.
And no one calls your house if you miss class. It is your responsibility. Not only to yourself, but to your family. Students must ask themselves many questions: Why are you going to school? How will your education empower yourself and others? These questions ultimately lead to the following questions: Who are you? What is your purpose?
Too many wander through life without knowledge of either nor the desire for such guidance.
Considering that for many Harambee readers, just a few hundred years, it would have been illegal to read this a few hundred years ago, we have a great responsibility to succeed academically that exceeds ourselves.
And our educations must not be for the benefit of our oppressors but for the benefit of our ancestors and descendants.
Sure, school can be difficult–we haven’t even got to institutional racism yet. You are not a victim, but the victor. So go ‘Black to school’ in style this year. Take hold of your future. It’s yours.
Reginald James is Harambee Managing Editor. For more ‘Black-to-School’ tips, visit

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