I work for Baltimore City Public Schools. So did my parents. When school resumes in the fall -- however it resumes -- it will be my tenth year in the public schools. This means that there are things about my job and my day-to-day that are givens.
Number 1: Black lives matter.
Number 2: We fight systemic injustice every day.
Number 3: The fight is long, difficult, and sometimes painful.
I am trained as a historian of the African American experience, and I come from a line of black female educators on my mother's side. Because of this, I know that the schoolhouse is a powerful site of resistance against white supremacy--whether it's a public early college like Bard Baltimore, the schools that were integrated in the 1950s, the one-room schools that were often all that freed slaves could take advantage of, or the snatches of lessons, overheard and unintended, that were the way Frederick Douglass learned to write.
The present moment demands from each of us, what will you be doing 6 months from now, when the front pages are occupied by something else, in the fight for racial justice? For me, almost ten years ago, I chose the schools and I chose Baltimore. What choice will you make?
Dr. Francesca Gamber is the Principal of Bard High School Early College Baltimore.