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Intelligogy The Podcast Season 2, Episode 9: Woke Wednesday Featuring Marlena Gross-Taylor

Intelligogy The Podcast Season 2, Episode 9: Woke Wednesday Featuring Marlena Gross-Taylor

Traci Browder | @tracibrowder
August 25,  2020

Two black women.

Two mothers.

Both have sons.

The conversation that ensues between Marlena and Traci is nothing short of gut wrenching and painful.

A separate set of rules by which their families must live. Worrying when their children are not home. An endless list of explaining to their children…

Why they can’t wear hoodies with hoods on their heads.

Why they can’t jog in their own neighborhood.

Why they can’t walk around with their hands in their pockets.

Why they have to always be careful.

Every moment.

Every second.

Every day.

This is painful to write.
This is painful to write.

Normally, Intelligogy The Podcast articles are written in third person. This is my pain, my reality. I am therefore switching to first person.

This is painful to write. I am not going to share further details of the conversation in this article because listening is enlightening.

What I can tell you is being black is living in a different world. Being a black parent worrying about our black children is an extremely anxiety-filled existence. It took days to prepare myself mentally to write this article. Each time I sat down to write this article, I had to walk away. The emotions were too painful and consuming.

We are sharing our conversation with you because we want you to understand that your colleagues, students, neighbors, and friends who black are carrying a heavy, silent burden that many are unaware they are carrying.

I invite you to take a few moments out of your day and listen to Marlena and me intimately discuss our reality. 

Howdy, Edufriends! I am a lover of people and relationships. I’ve been teaching for more than 16 years. My happy places have been reading specialist, instructional coach, mentor, and a 3rd grade and Kindergarten teacher. My classroom is a live learning lab hosting student teachers, teachers who want to learn how to have more engagement in their classrooms, and administrators for other schools often pop in. I am most passionate about igniting the spark in adults and helping children believe in themselves. Perhaps oddly interesting, I have a unique love for animals that includes previously having owned a boa constrictor and having shown pure-bred wolves at wolf shows. I should have said unique love for exotic animals!

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