Monday, July 25, 2016

Black Lives Matter "Freedom School" Trustee Jerks Us Around Re Its Summer School Lessons

Eons ago I spent my high school years at what was then called Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute. The school has since undergone something of an apotheosis. It is now called Vaughan Road Academy.

The only reason I mention it is because, ironically enough, the school is the summer home of the Black Lives Matter "Freedom School." I wrote about the school here. Sue-Ann Levy picks up the story here:

It started two weeks ago and is based at Vaughan Road Academy, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) school in the Eglinton-Oakwood area. 
The Black Lives Matter-Toronto Freedom School is being led by LeRoi Newbold, a teacher at TDSB’s Africentric school and a member of the BLM movement. 
The Children’s Peace Theatre — heavily subsidized with Toronto, provincial and foundation grants and which operates out of the city-owned Massey Goulding Estate for rent of $2 a year — took out the permit for the Freedom School space. TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird says they paid approximately $3,400 for the three-week permit. 
Newbold and the BLM organizers refused several requests for an interview about the school, its curriculum and the attendees. 
Karen Emerson, artistic director of the Children’s Peace Theatre, would only say they were “particularly proud” to be trusteeing the Freedom School this year for BLM, whose members were “just awarded the city’s race relations award.” 
"Particularly proud"--to see it win an award it did not deserve.  (Odd how, since the announcement that BLM Toronto would be getting this prize, nothing more has been heard about it. Now, had there been an award for fracturing race relations, I can think of a no more deserving recipient than Pride parade-sabotaging BLM Toronto.)

Because the trustee refused to discuss anything about the school, Levy was forced to make do with the only available info:
But according to information posted on the BLM Facebook page, the program was designed to “engage children in political resistance to anti-black racism and state violence” — through a trans-feminist, queer-positive lens — and offer “an entry point into the #BlackLivesMatter movement.”
So what, precisely, does one learn at a BLM Freedom School? Apparently, a whole bunch of more or less useless stuff/indoctrination in the victimhood agenda:
It appears that the students have spent their time so far making accessible playgrounds out of jinx wood, learning about resistance in Brazil, about Nanny Maroon (a Jamaican national hero) and the Haitian Revolution, cooking hominy porridge and veggie patties, and visiting the Sustenance Greenhouse at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. They also prepared drawings and notes to the incarcerated engaged in hunger strikes at Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay.
I was sufficiently intrigued by the name Nanny Maroon to look her up. According to her Wiki entry (which refers to her as "Nanny of the Maroons"--those being a people from West Africa who were shipped to Jamaica as slaves), Nanny is a folk hero because she rebelled against the English, forcing them to give Nanny and her people their own piece of land--Nanny Town. As someone who loves it hot and spicy, though, this is the part of the tale that interested me the most:
The Maroons also contributed to the cooking technique of jerking, adapted from the Arawak. Chicken or pork pieces were cooked over a low fire using green pimento wood. The smoke was smothered in order to escape detection by British forces.[5]
The invention of jerk chicken--now, that's something to celebrate!

Update: You can see why the "Freedom School" would want to focus on Jamaican folk hero Nanny and not on, say, rampant and intractable homophobia in modern day Jamaica.

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