Two Oak Park educators air their viewpoints near and far

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Over the last two months, the voices of Oak Park educators LeeAndra Khan, the principal of Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, and Paul Noble, an Oak Park and River Forest High School English teacher, have carried way beyond the school walls.

Last month, Khan's poignant essay about her experience "Being a Black Principal in Today's Racial and Political Climate," was published in Catalyst Chicago, an independent news site that reports on urban education. 

The essay, published online July 27, is deeply personal. Khan tells readers about her son, "who attends one of Chicago's best schools and isn't an achievement gap statistic," but who is still "one of many black boys who have been suspended from school as early as third grade." 

It's also frank. 

"Speaking up for your race is often viewed as exclusionary and you can even be accused of being a racist," writes Khan, who was also on a radio station, WVON 1690, earlier this month talking about her experiences as a black principal. 

Noble's intimate essay, "A Wish for My Daughters," was published on the New York Times's website on Aug. 19. 

Noble's writing is visceral, inviting readers to sit on the shores of Lake Michigan that contour his seasonal home in Douglas, Michigan. Noble's description of his 6-year-old twin daughters swimming on a "daunting" and "windy day" ranks with anything you'll read from one of the paper's regular columnists.

"You know intuitively that if the waves are coming at you with great force, they're receding with the same violence," Noble writes. "It's no small thing to let my 6-year-old twin daughters swim on a day like this. I'm sure the metaphor is as ancient as the first father to stand beside his kids on some prehistoric beach: Parenting is about letting your children stride, then swim, further and further, into deeper and more dangerous waters." 

Michael Romain 

Contact:
Email: michael@oakpark.com

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad