One Voice honors black history, present and future three hundred sixty-five days a year through our fight for black children’s right to an excellent education. We do this because we understand the value of The Village, a makeshift community of skinfolk who have each other’s back, picking up the slack wherever we find lack. Throughout the history of dark-skinned people from the African diaspora, The Village played a leading role with food growth and preparation, childrearing, governance, and celebration.
We are the engine that gets The Village going and keeps it moving. It’s the mother who stands on the bus stop watching out for everyone’s children. It’s the woman in the upstairs apartment known for picking up a few extra coats every winter for the neighborhood kids. It’s the block of families who transport, discipline and babysit for each other at a moments notice. The teachers who identify with the struggles of their most vulnerable students and go the extra mile. It’s One Voice using its platform, informed by each member’s personal and professional experiences, to amplify the issues that affect our most marginalized students.
In the February issue, One Voice takes on the role of The Village’s Queen Mothers, writing to protect the nation’s children from injustice and trauma. Dia Jones takes to task the “wokest” among us by asking “are we really woke” if 100 percent of our kids are not reaching their peak potential? Bernita Bradley, author of The Girl in the Valley, offers heartfelt advice to youth experiencing trauma, irrespective of color because “[w]e need everyone to be mentally healthy.”
On the black-and-white issue of blackface, Vivett Dukes and Tanesha Peeples spare no feelings on the subject. Vivett blasts news about a teacher wearing blackface, “I’m still stuck on how any educated, trained, certified, mentored teacher could go through the whole process of dressing up in Blackface and think that somehow that was synonymous with being authentic.” Responding to the controversy surrounding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook picture donning blackface, Tanesha asks, “why are we surprised by racists doing racist things when racism is forever embedded in America’s DNA?” Finally, Vesia Hawkins is desperate to understand why her city is more focused on getting rid of Nashville’s first black director of schools robbing much-needed attention from nearly 10,000 students of color in the state’s low performing schools.
We are the village and we’ve got your back.
Join us as we honor Black Yesterday, Black Today, and Black Tomorrow.
Peace and blessings,