The Root

Reform That Works Only for White Children is Not Really Working

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This Urban Institute blog post by Kristin Blagg and Matt Chingos is the latest example of DC schools data being used to perpetuate a narrative of progress, while masking growing race and class inequities. In this study, “Does Gentrification Explain Rising Test Scores,” the authors’ definitive answer is probably not: “The bottom line is that gentrification alone cannot explain why student scores improved in Washington, DC, a conclusion that echoes previous analyses using publicly available data,” they write. Keep Reading

Natalie’s 2014 Year in Review

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2014 was another year of stretching, juggling, creating, wife-ing and mommy-ing. It was also a year to accept when it is time to let go, even to the things you really love…

NEW BOOK, TK

In 2014, I signed a publishing contract with The New Press to write a book of profiles of artists and how they reflect and affect social change given trends in globalization, technology and Keep Reading

Natalie’s 2013 Year in Review

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2013 has been an amazing year. I met new collaborators and stumbled upon new ways to think out loud, from live storytelling on stage, to community conversations about art and education in Miami, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans.  My book Go-Go Live was recognized by the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nomination and I published essays and interviews in The Root, The Washington Post and Essence Magazine. I taught a graduate seminar Keep Reading

Nola & DC: A Musical Tale of Two Gentrified Cities

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My family spent Christmas break in New Orleans. We were in the French Quarter on New Year’s Eve. We’d just dined at Mr. B’s, wandering among the daiquiri-clutching revelers competing for Mardi Gras beads along Bourbon Street when we ran into one of our favorite street dancers. His face was covered in metallic gold paint matching a metallic outfit and mechanical robot dance moves. He has a small battery-powered speakers blasting popular radio hits. He accepted small Keep Reading

Nods from SPIN magazine and the Washington Post

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  What an amazing way to start the new year. SPIN magazine named Go-Go Live in the 10 Best Music Books of 2012. (Number 7!) “Go-Go Live” was included in a roundup in Washington Post editors’ and critics’ literary guide to Washington. I absolutely loved the Washington Post illustration of the Jefferson Memorial-like monument built of books propped up by columns.  

Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City

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My new book is “Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City,” a look at Washington, D.C.’s unique musical culture published in 2012 on Duke University Press. Check out the book trailer and reviews at www.gogolives.com

RIP CHUCK BROWN

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I did not expect to take Chuck Brown’s death as hard as I did. I kept it together for an NPR interview, but then I cried and blubbered all the way driving my son home from soccer.  I am not a DC native and did not grow up listening to the sounds of the Godfather of Go-Go. But the world of music he created inspired so much of my writing Keep Reading

Media Literacy and KONY 2012

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In this essay my kids and I try to make sense of the Kony 2012 phenomenon. Today’s students have such a vast, complex and contradictory information landscape to navigate. How do we give them the tools they need?  Here is the piece on The Root.   

Black Middle Class and Cities: Abandonment Is a Myth

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Black Middle Class and Cities: Abandonment Is a Myth. The failure of black people is a troublesome narrative that underlies a lot of the talk about gentrification and education reform. Wrong!

The McEducation of the Negro | The Root

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