“We’re coming at you with music and fun… And if you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done… So let’s get ready, okay? Hey, Hey Hey!” That is how Bill Cosby sent us into episodes of “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” one of the traditions of my childhood. I used to watch that…

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THIS WEEK, Judge Nina Wright Padilla issued a restraining order to prevent the School Reform Commission from unilaterally canceling its contract with its teachers. This represented a small victory for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which recently filed a series of legal challenges in Commonwealth Court. [blocktext align=”right”]The PFT’s legal wrangling came as no surprise…

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ONE OF THE PARTS of office culture that you can’t seem to get around no matter how badly you want to is the team building activity. While these things vary, almost all of them include something called a “trust exercise.” Usually, it’s someone leading you around blindfolded, or someone falling backward and expecting you to catch…

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IF WE’RE REALLY SERIOUS about fixing the problem of domestic violence, we must first address the problem of child abuse. When former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made news for hitting someone other than opposing linebackers, it made me think about a discussion I had with one of my…

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RIGHT NOW, at least in Philadelphia, people who would normally get really mad if you told them “you throw like a girl” are taking it as a compliment instead. That’s because the hottest pitcher in the city is a 13-year-old girl named Mo’ne Davis. Davis, who became the first Little Leaguer to grace the cover…

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I HAVE ALWAYS believed that grief is personal. Grief is one of those things that you kinda have to handle on your own. No one can tell you how long you should grieve, how you should grieve, or what you should grieve about. Or at least that’s how I’ve always felt it should work. There’s also…

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AMONG THE MANY things that are making me scratch my head in relation to the School District of Philadelphia’s current funding crisis is the strange bedfellows it’s creating. I recently got a media advisory from Public Citizens for Children and Youth about a press conference and parent briefing that the organization was doing with school district…

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THIS PAST Saturday, my ultra-talented friend Tiffany Bacon had me on her Praise 103.9 FM radio show “Praise In The City.” Though we usually talk politics or education, she surprised me this time by asking me a simple question: “What does it mean to be black?” To me, this is the mother of all loaded questions,…

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A COUPLE of days ago, I read a story on Philly.com talking about an investigation Mayor Michael Nutter was launching into how the Philly 4th of July Jam turned into Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, complete with all of the profanity. [blocktext align=”right”]This Moment of Ratchet isn’t Mayor Nutter’s fault. Don’t fault co-sponsor VH1, or The Roots–the…

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WHEN YOU LIVE in Philadelphia, you can’t help but notice Independence Day. American history is kind of everywhere you look around here. The Welcome America! celebration brings together all sorts of movies, exhibits, and concerts featuring a number of bands, including one of my favorites, The Roots. [blocktext align=”right”]Every year the Avenging the Ancestors Coalition sets…

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