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LeBron “Keep My Name Out Yo Mouth” James

It comes at the 2:11 mark.

And the sentence begins “I’m kinda the wrong guy to go at…”

It could go full Training Day Denzel, because that’s kind of how I would expect shirtless postgame energy to travel after one is asked — again — “might you consider shutting up and dribbling.”

But King James takes us in another direction.

“… because I do my homework.”

I had the great pleasure of listening to three Black women faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania give a talk on race and activism a couple of days ago. Dr. …

What we’re getting wrong about student debt cancellation… and college.

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Rakim Brooks gives us a powerful case in Fortune.

Pretty sure this is the first time I’ve written a piece encouraging people to read someone else’s piece. But that’s how important it is, so here we go.

I’m here now because Rakim Brooks’s picture kept popping up on my Facebook feed. I finally made the time to sit with his words and I couldn’t agree more. I was about to figure out how to reach out to him to tell him, and the more I thought about all of the other layers to this conversation, the more I had to say. …

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Cope and the kids, back in Year 1 of class

This spring semester marks my third opportunity to co-teach a credit-bearing financial literacy course to Penn undergrads. The idea was brought to me a few years ago by fellow Penn alum and NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland.

During an alumni gathering we happened to connect and Cope shared his vision for helping college grads be better prepared financially for adulthood. I’d had a conversation with a pending college grad just a few days prior about this exact need, so I was all in. …

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Photo by Hrt+Soul Design on Unsplash

Let’s go back in time, to this past May. By that point it was crystal clear that the country had not miraculously re-opened at Easter (as promised), and the vast majority of our high school graduates would not experience the ceremonial cap and gown procession in a packed auditorium or football field. Some partook in socially distant drive through ceremonies, or staggered and crowdless commencements later on the the summer, but most had some kind of Zoom experience that cemented their year being unlike any other graduating class in modern history. As I reflect on this moment, I’m recalling images…

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From the film A Most Beautiful Thing

I’m usually not big on New Year’s resolutions. But for whatever reason this year I have a short list of goals and efforts that I’m planning to stick with for as long as I can. Friday family movie night is at the top.

You’d think that with all of this extra time in the house we would have re-watched all of the childhood classics and streamed the more recent offerings months ago, but much of our viewing has been personal binging on our individual devices, and I thought it was time to switch things up. …

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Dr. Carter G. Woodson

There’s been much on my mind over this past year, particularly as we approach 365 days of pandemic life. The summer of racial strife, the November election, the ensuing insurrection all still weigh heavily on this last day of January.

I’m also thinking about the future. I’m imagining how we can look to tomorrow, February 1 — the first day of Black History Month — and peer forward in new ways.

As we delve into that, it’s first necessary to say that there are some people who aren’t aware that February is Black History Month. To you I say let…

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe

Here we are.

We knew we’d get here some day.

And now it’s here.

Happy New Year, everyone!

I think.

I mean, the calendars say 2021. But the mask I’m about to put on to go outside is so 2020, you know. Where is the magic button to make this all go away?

Turns out that we’ve been the magic button all this time. We just didn’t want to be.

That’s what 2020 taught me. That I had a lot of stuff inside me, around me, right here all along that I didn’t take the time to really see or…

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Photo by Dalton Caraway on Unsplash

Today is Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Yesterday was our national election — a day that some people had been waiting to see for four years. Unfortunately for these people there’s no certainty today. No definitive statement about the America they imagine. Only a magnified version of the uneasiness they’ve felt since 2016, as we await a resolution on who will be the President of the United States.

But even with a Biden victory, there is still an unsettling sense of loss and despair. A rude awakening to a kind of instability that can’t be wished away or unseen now.


Even now.

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Photo by Nechirwan Kavian on Unsplash

Last week I set a goal for myself. I was able to reach the goal on Friday. In the process of wrapping that up I realized two things:

  1. Before I moved onto the next thing, as I tend to do, I needed — and deserved — a moment to bask in my achievement.
  2. I should remind other people who are always on #GrindMode like me to also smell the roses, and remember their greatness.

So that Friday I sketched the Medium piece mentally, which blended the two items above pretty well. Then, to further point #1, I played basketball with…

Why critical literacy in college is everything.

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Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Reading is one of the most essential — and under-appreciated — skills for college students. It’s also one of the easiest to do poorly.

When we skim, when we read with tired eyes, when we don’t take notes or highlight key points or make meaning maps, when we don’t jot down our questions, when we neglect to mentally engage the reading as we go through it, we miss the opportunity to actually be enriched. It’s like watching a movie while holding a conversation, or running errands, or playing a video game, or sleeping…

Brian Peterson

I am a husband, father, writer, educator, and generator of ideas. Working on my follow through. Latest book, Higher Learning, out now at

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