Family Relationships+ Family

Social Networking safe for kids?

My son is 10 and wants to join Facebook. He tells me all of his friends have Facebook, so why can’t he?

How do you allow your children the freedom to grow and become more social while still protecting them from unknown online predators? Or better yet becoming prey to a lifestyle of social ineptitude. For many of us, there is such a fine line between allowing our kids to join social networks to communicate with others online and letting them become couch potatoes that don’t know how to communicate with anyone unless it is via text, talk or type; With their heads buried in a computer or cell phone while their fingers move faster than their minds allow.

In the end, balance is key.  Allow them the “supervised” space to grow into our worlds social networks while also encouraging both physical and mental extra curricular activities endorsed by their churches, townships, and after school programs. Its important that all of our kids have the opportunity to socially mature both on and off the fields.

Education Politics

March 9th: Critical Race Theory, Breitbart, and What Biggie Has To Do With It

Mo the Educator’s critical analysis of the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s connection to critical race theory.

Entertainment Music Relationships

Interracial Dating in Post-Racial America

Is this a post racial America?

“Nigger in a Northface” by Legit, illustrates the complexity and turmoil surrounding an interracial couple.

What do you think?


#BlackLove: Check This Video Out!

Leah + Kevin :: Nashville Wedding Trailer from FFDC :: Jeffrey Holland on Vimeo.


[Relationships] How to Break-Up: With Complete Instructions

(Disclaimer: Neither, J. Thurman or AlumniRoundup is responsible for what happens once you read this article. These are my opinions and are strictly to inform educate and entertain you. Now let’s get down to it.)

First things first: Make sure you are actually in a relationship that requires breaking up. You could just be having sex.

There is no easy way to say, “Kick Rocks” or “Arrivederci” or even “Bounce”, but when it is time to go you have got to go. Either you can “DIP” or let someone hold you emotionally hostage, your choice. Remember, it is your choice to stay or go. If you understand that you soul is at stake you will leave and walk away. If you are living a life of fear disguised as love, it is time to go. If you cringe at the very thought of talking or seeing your significant other, first of all they aren’t that significant anymore, you need to say “Adios” pronto mi amigo. Once said by the great American poet Tracy Marrow-“its pleasure in the beginning, but it is pain in the end.” This is a reality that affects millions daily. I just wanted to give you some helpful tips to look at getting out safe and how to be preventive at spotting a potentially unstable individual.

How to Breakup:

When you breakup do it face to face, if possible and only if it is safe! Please no e-mail, Skype, Video mail, postcard, through friends or the infamous text. Do not break up with someone thousands of miles away in war with the only sane thought in their heads is the love they have for you, whether reciprocated or not, Do not destroy the only thought that is going to get them home safe! Show some respect, not just to the person, but to the situation. It will go a long way with the outcome to ensure a positive outcome for all parties involved.

When to Breakup:

The time will never be right, so use the accuracy and precision of a samurai. Be quick and don’t waste time asking for advice in this matter outside advice will only delay the inevitable. Make sure that you are just and right in all you do and act. Do not let anyone plant the seed of doubt in your thought and actions. Just be sure you are not in a moving vehicle or around an arsenal. (Avoid Breaking up: Holidays, anniversaries or days that people consider anniversaries and places that are sentimental to the person you are dating.)

Why do you Breakup:

When “You are ready for something more.
When you are ready to experience more than this comfortable space that you have created based on pure apathy.
When you know, not think that this person that you are with is not interested in growth and maximizing their full expression as a person, BOUNCE.

Where to Breakup:

If you can in a public place. (Does not guarantee a pleasant outcome.)
Find Holy Ground where that person would never act out.
Choose a place that makes that person you are breaking up with happy.

If worse comes to worse and there is no maneuvering that person into a certain space to shift the energy away for anger and blame. Use the samurai method. Execute your breakup calmly, swiftly, fast and with purpose. Remember to avoid answering the “WHY” questions because they are traps set up to keep you in the moment instead of moving past the moment on to better soul fulfillment. You can never answer the “WHY” question to the other persons satisfaction, period.

When all else fails install the opposite effect. What do I mean? Simply become the opposite of everything he or she likes favors or believe in. Start by living Tea Party or any adverse political literature around your home. Become very bane of their existence by purposely doing and saying the very things they dislike. If they are a neat freak like Martin, Patrick Bergin’s character on sleeping with the enemy, then slop it up for no reason. If they don’t like their father or mother invite them over for dinner and have food they detest. Men, leave your draws on the floor streaked up. If the pariah that you are trying to release yourself from is latched on to you like a barnacle on the bottom of The Black Pearl them you have no choice but to not wash when they are around. Getting this intelligence is easy, just listen! People are mostly affirming what disgust them anyway.

If the person you are breaking up with hate smokers leave a pack of Newport’s MENTHOL HEAVY Short Box on your table in full view and say that lately you have been stressed. If they don’t like meat put an empty container of pork shoulder roast on top of your trash and then ask them to throw something away for you. If they hate people who drink buy a bottle of something that their drunken relative used to drink. If they hate a person who is tardy, don’t show up. Go to another movie with the person you really want to be with. Be the very antithesis of their core beliefs! It is better than the truth.

Remember that your breakup is not time to give the screw over to your “Ex” it is an art and should be treated with respect. Get in and Get out! Don’t wait for the guilt police to show up. The longer you stay stagnate in the moment the easier it becomes to get pulled back. It is called a BREAK-UP, and not a breakdown and certainly not an “I will stay until you feel better so people don’t think I’m a bad person”. There will be a moment of weakness or uncertainty and at that moment know that it is your body responding to a challenge. The challenge of filling the void that is now opens for cleansing and rejuvenation your soul. It is not what you think it is! It is not fear or loathing or sadness. It is you transmuting your anxiety and doubt into joy, new hope and excitement. It is a moment that last just a moment as long as you wish it to. Breakup don’t breakdown!

– J.Thurman
Best Selling Author/Power Speaker/Coach

The Man-You-All
(A Guide to Save Black Women Time, Money & Energy)
Invest in two copies@


Educator’s Response: Teacher’s Smack-Down on Black Children

I’m gonna take a different approach on this one. Before that though, let me honor this man for handling these two children exactly as he should have. Two adolescent boys squaring each other up aren’t going to pay attention to “gentle verbal warnings” or even stern ones from a seated teacher. Beyond “showing them who’s boss” however (more on that in a second), the teacher did some very important things.

  • First, he persisted until the physical threat in the situation was done.
  • Second, not only did he ‘lay a verbal smackdown’ on them, he explained to them exactly why their actions needed correction.
  • Third, he turned it into a teachable moment for the entire class about how to handle disputes properly.

My concern, in this scenario, isn’t with the teacher or his handling of the situation at all. I don’t like how this short video itself plays into the popular “get tough” / “no nonsense” / “zero tolerance” trope that we reserve for people of color, and for people with the least economic means. We often advocate for and enact these policies because we pathologize behaviors by people of color and the impoverished as a part of our unfair, ineffective, and bigoted treatment of them. Watching a man “lay down the law” with these kids appeals to the anger and intellectual violence to which so many of us want to subject them. We are so frustrated with their behavior that we want to ‘smack them down’. Oftentimes we do, and their behavior becomes compliant; maybe even self-deprecating.

But is compliance really the same thing as uplift? Who are we satisfying? The needs of the people being ‘smacked’? Or our own desires to ‘smack’ them? And what are the short-term and long-term ramifications of using intellectual and/or physical violence to force people into compliance?

Though all of us may be stoked by the fire with which this man addresses his young charges, it behooves us to also consider what happens next. If he is as effective as he appears to be in this microscopic period of time, then I’ll bet that it ended something like this…


Is Keeping Cursive Writing Worth the Fight?

It was Edward Bulwer-Lytton who once coined the iconic phrase, “Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.” A bold but true statement, its heft has been evident in everyone who dared to pick up a pen.  Over the years since his 1839 proclamation, the advent of new technology has taken both the reach and power of language to higher heights. As the changes and uses of technology have exploded over the last 30 years, both individuals and entities have taken notice of the change and have succeeded in incorporating new ways of communicating that these advances have spawned.

Not to be left behind, public education in America has sought to harness these innovations and subsequently “phase out” more traditional forms of educating. But at what cost? Nearly 40 states and the District of Columbia have started adapting Common Core Standards; an effort synchronize what children learn across the spectrum and to ensure that all the stakeholders in a child’s education are aware of what the child will be learning in the classroom. While the theory of this approach is commendable, the actual practice seeks to squeeze out some mainstays that are veritable “rights of passage” in school. One of these mainstays is cursive writing. I know what you’re thinking. “Who uses cursive anymore? Everything is online- print and typewritten communication are the dominant forms of writing now.” While I appreciate the rationale by which people employ to make such statements, the implications of failing to teach and require cursive writing are far-reaching.

Oftentimes we take for granted the fact that we can view historic documents such as the Declaration of Independence and read the almost perfect penmanship with ease. The question you should be asking is, “what if I were not able to read it?” It’s too easy to dismiss the concept of cursive by simply saying “we don’t use it enough in real life.” I believe, however, that everyone who makes that claim has the luxury of having mastered it already. Every one of us can point to at least have a dozen concepts that we were taught in our formative years that have no tremendous impact on what we do now. There are aspects of math that I both have never and will never use. There are historical facts and documents that I have been exposed to that have no pressing significance in my life; there are formulas in Science that add no day-to-day value or enhance my existence. What about Shakespeare? How much has your cursory knowledge of his plays and sonnets gotten you?

But what “standard of measurement” do we use to determine what stays and what goes? I submit that the teaching and learning of cursive is not an exercise in futility, it is the practice of a valuable skill; one which still deserves our attention. Cursive writing provides many useful technical functions: it helps students in fine-tuning their micro motor skills, it teaches “part-to-whole” connections between letters and completed words, and, it can even improve spelling (which, coincidentally, is ANOTHER skill that is nowhere to be found under the adaptation of Common Core Standards).

The future will no doubt be full of wonderfully inventive ideas that will continue to help us streamline nearly every part of our lives. In addition to providing our children and their children with so many things that we did not have, we need to be sure that they also have things that we DID have as well. Imagine a world where you ask someone for their “John Hancock” and you are greeted with puzzled looks and confusion. If we continue on this course, we may not have to imagine for long. – Olu Burrell

Olu Burrell is a Howard University Alum who works as High School English Instructor in Washington, DC. He is involved with the DC Area Writing Project and is a performance poet, writer, and social activist. He is currently developing a food blog with his wonderful wife, Farran, You can follow him on Twitter at @oluburrell.

Entertainment Relationships

Phonte and 9th Wonder talk about Love #LLFDP

Phonte and 9th (great to see them hanging, by the way) in a candid conversation about the L word. No not “lesbians” (Scott Pilgrim reference) the OTHER “L” word… LOVE.

Check it out.