Educating black children ain’t rocket science

Dr. Noliwe Rooks

ST. PETERSBURG — The St. Petersburg Branch NAACP, in partnership with the Legal Defense Fund and St. Petersburg College, is hosting Dr. Noliwe Rooks on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. Rooks is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by civic culture, social history and political life in the United States.

She is the author of four books, the most recent of which is “Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education.”

Rooks received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College where she majored in English and her master’s and doctorate degree in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She is currently the director of American Studies at Cornell University where she is also an associate professor in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Dr. Noliwe Rooks

Dr. Noliwe Rooks

While here, Rooks will pay homage to Dr. Tonjua Williams, the first African American and first female president of St. Petersburg College, by attending her investiture ceremony as the guest of St. Petersburg Branch NAACP President Maria L. Scruggs.

She has roots in the Tampa Bay area and is excited about the potential of coming back home to engage educators, both private and public, along with community leaders, parents, advocates and all who profess to be concerned about educating black children.

Rooks believe that before you can educate black and brown children, you must understand them, a comment that has been defined as one of the pillars of her research.

You must RSVP by April 3 for the Friday, April 6 noon luncheon. The Saturday, April 7 event is free and open to the public and starts at 10 a.m. Both events will be held at Pinellas Technical College, 901 34th St. S.

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