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#114: Secrets of the South

Hi there, it’s time for The Highlighter #114. This issue, there are articles about millennials (and where they eat), teachers of color (how there aren’t many), loyal tribalists (who might hasten the end of America), and powerful women (meeting gloriously in secret). If you want to be inspired, read the first article. If you want to be concerned, read the second and third. If you’re a millennial, or a non-millennial who is obsessed with millennials, start with the last piece first. Please enjoy!


Secrets of the South
Secrets of the Southwww.lennyletter.com

Too many secret societies are reserved for white supremacists or privileged Ivy Leaguers. That’s why this article about the United Order of Tents (“Successful Women Bridging the Past Upholding the Future”) is so refreshing. A semi-covert organization for African American women, the Tents was founded in 1867 by Annetta Lane and Harriett Taylor. The Tents promote sisterhood, empowerment, and service toward others. After a downturn in membership after the Civil Rights movement, the group’s popularity and power are once again on an upswing. ⏳⏳

Can Our Democracy Survive Tribalism?
Can Our Democracy Survive Tribalism?nymag.com

For years we’ve heard about red and blue states and about how we’re divided as a country — liberal coastal elites vs. Middle America. Andrew Sullivan goes further in this article, arguing that the United States has become a tribal nation. Facts and reason no longer matter; we extol our leader while vilifying our enemy. There is no pathway to compromise. Though I agree with many of Mr. Sullivan’s claims, his solutions rely on old myths of America that are woefully lacking. Still, I recommend this piece because of the excellent and thought-provoking prose. ⏳⏳⏳

If you’ve seen Big Night (1996), you know about the famous timpano. Loyal subscribers Lynna and Peter (with help from loyal subscriber Erin) successfully re-created the dish this weekend at our book club’s annual retreat in Aptos. Inside the crust you’ll find ziti with sauce, sausage, meatballs, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs.

Diversifying the Classroom
Diversifying the Classroomwww.urban.org

Students of color do better when they have teachers who look like them. The problem is that the great majority of American teachers are white. This succinct research report does a great job detailing the gap. Take time with the graphs. They’ll explain clearly how the pipeline of potential teachers of color narrows so quickly and relentlessly. ⏳

Applebee's Deserves to Die
Applebee's Deserves to Diewww.eater.com

Please everyone read this piece, particularly if you’re a millennial or if you’re a non-millennial who doesn’t like millennials. (I like millennials.) Bijan Stephen explains why chain restaurants like Applebee’s are closing, and in the meantime, he captures the essence of what it means to be a millennial. Mr. Stephen’s writing is smart and fresh and funny. Big thanks to loyal subscriber Morenike for sending in this article. ⏳

This Week’s Podcast: My friend and former colleague Nicholas Woo is on this week’s episode of The Highlighter Podcast. A former teacher and academic director, Nicholas now serves as a data and evaluation associate at Partnership with Children in New York City. Nick believes that teachers and schools alone cannot meet the needs of young people living in poverty. Please take a listen, and if you’re impressed, go ahead and subscribe!

We’ve arrived at the end of The Highlighter #114. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Let me know what you thought (thumbs are below). Also, please welcome new subscribers Sharon and Heidi! Let’s keep growing The Highlighter community and making it stronger. Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you again next Thursday at 9:10 am.

Please share your brilliant insights!