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Remembering Julian Bond; A Life That Matters With Wes Moore; Rebellion As Education

Reston Community Center via flickr Creative Commons

The charismatic equal-rights champion, Julian Bond, died ten days ago. He was 75. He served two decades in the Georgia legislature, and taught history for two decades at the University of Virginia – but he was connected to Maryland, also, through the dozen years he served as chair of theNAACP, headquartered here in Baltimore. All that came after the demonstrations and sit-ins of the 1960's, when Bond became a national figure as a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. One admirer wrote last week, “SNCC was the #BlackLivesMatter movement before there were hashtags.” 

Also, In 2010, author Wes Moore published a best-selling book, "The Other Wes Moore," which told the story of his childhood and early adulthood, as well as that of another young man, who grew up in Baltimore, in the same neighborhood and, coincidentally, with the same name. Their outcomes, however, couldn’t be more different. One Wes Moore was convicted of murder, and imprisoned for life, while the Wes Moore I spoke with graduated from Johns Hopkins University, went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, became a decorated war veteran, an investment banker, a White House Fellow, an entrepreneur, and television host.

Plus, Jay Gillen was a founding teacher-director of theStadiumSchool in Baltimore City, who is still teaching math in the City Schools, and working closely with the Baltimore Algebra Project.  In a book published last fall, he indicts an educational system that he says is stacked against poor and disadvantaged students. He suggests that we change that by encouraging students to organize and rebel.  The book is called “Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty.”