Just In Time For Black History Month: Checkout Kesha Rushing Children’s Book Series


Terrell and Keke’s Adventures Through Time is a fascinating series-in-the-making, featuring a dynamic African-American brother and sister duo, 11 year old Terrell and his sassy 8 year old sister, Keke. After they discover a hidden cabin and a trunk full of books during summer vacation, they embark on a whirlwind adventure through time.

Their first stop? The Underground Railroad.

On their journey, Terrell and Keke travel with Harriet Tubman as runaways and experience the danger, fear and courage that many slaves experienced on their journey to freedom. Young readers can come along, as they learn more about history and themselves, on their trip around the globe.

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John Morgan Resign as TBR President, Slam Haslem’s Plan


Just as it seemed that Governor Haslem plan for each TBR 4 year institution to have their own governing board, John Morgan resigned.  John Morgan deemed Haslem’s plan unworkable and not even clear.

Haslem for a long time has pretty much had support to push any legislation through finally received some push back. Memphis and MTSU have been quoted as saying that they are excited for the plan. TSU, APSU, Tenn Tech, and ETSU have been really quiet since those smaller schools just don’t have the political leverage to implement change.

Haslem’s plan hits the Congress floor next week. We will see if the members support it.




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Haslam Announces FOCUS Act Transition Task Force


NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the members of the transition task force to offer guidance on the proposed Focus On College and University Success (FOCUS) Act during the legislative process and potential implementation if approved by the General Assembly. Comprised of higher education leaders and professionals, the transition task force will have two components: a steering committee to provide high level implementation guidance to the governor and a working group that will offer technical assistance and report back to the steering committee. “The Drive to 55 is changing the landscape for Tennessee students and public higher education in our state,” Haslam said. “The conversation has brought us to this point: making sure our colleges and universities are aligned in support of student success, and I want to thank these leaders and professionals from Tennessee higher education for helping work through the details of this proposal.” As charged by the steering committee, the working group will research implementation issues and provide detailed recommendations to increase efficiency in data systems, policy processes and other issues involving state higher education alignment. Drive to 55 Executive Director Mike Krause will chair the working group, which will also include: Dr. Mary Lou Apple, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) member, former Motlow State Community College president Dr. Keith Carver, University of Tennessee (UT), executive assistant to the president Dr. Russ Deaton, Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) interim executive director Dr. Tristan Denley, TBR vice chancellor for academic affairs David Gregory, TBR vice chancellor of administration Dr. Brian Noland, East Tennessee State University president Roland Rayner, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis director

The transition steering committee is charged with evaluating key operational areas that will need adjusting under the FOCUS plan announced last week and ensuring all sectors of Tennessee public higher education are positioned to maximize student success under the new governance structure. Haslam will chair the steering committee and serve with the following appointees: Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) Emily Reynolds, TBR vice chair John Morgan, TBR chancellor Evan Cope, THEC chair Dr. Russ Deaton, THEC interim executive director Raja Jubran, UT Board of Trustees vice chair Dr. Joe DiPietro, UT president Dr. Glenda Glover, Tennessee State University president Dr. Sidney McPhee, Middle Tennessee State University president Dr. Brian Noland, ETSU president Dr. Phil Oldham, Tennessee Technological University president Dr. David Rudd, University of Memphis president Dr. Alisa White, Austin Peay State University president

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TSU Alum Howard Burrell Says Confederate flag never Symbolized Regional Pride

Hours after the flag was removed Friday from the South Carolina Capitol grounds, Burrell summed up what it always has represented to him.

“Anti-black. Pro-slavery. White superiority,” said Burrell, a 35-year Vernon resident and the last Democratic freeholder elected in Republican-dominated Sussex County.

Sightings of the Confederate flag are unusual, but not unheard of, in a county where under 2 percent of residents are black. Burrell said he understands that some who display the flag may not intend any ill will.

Still, encountering it always makes him uncomfortable.

“There’s a person who flies the Confederate flag, down the road from me. I keep wondering, what kind of people live there,” Burrell said.

While acknowledging that “they might be very, very nice people,” Burrell said, “If I had an accident, that would be the last home I went to.”

Despite South Carolina’s dramatic retreat on the flag, stemming from the racially motivated murders of nine black men and women at a Charleston church June 17, some continue to view the flag as a harmless nod to heritage. A prominent example would appear to be singer Kid Rock, who has used the flag on stage and told off protesters last week.

To many others, Burrell included, that heritage is intertwined with oppression and is nothing to honor. He is old enough to have experienced a time when white opponents of integration adopted the Confederate flag as a taunting, threatening symbol of resistance.

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Tennessee State University Alum LaVita Tuff on Baltimore’s Future on NPR

LaVita Tuff works with the local policy team to improve online access to government information. Her work focuses on analyzing and writing about government data disclosure in addition to providing feedback on adoption and implementation of open data, open meetings and open government policies at the state and municipal levels.

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The Night Dr. Levi Watkins Saved The Flash

Photo Credit: comicbookmovie.com

I am an avid watcher of the comic book films and TV shows. As we mourn the loss of Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. who died suddenly on Friday, it was a treat to be reminded of the impact of his invention, the defibrillator.

In last night Flash episode, The Flash was seriously injured by a poisonous bee. His suit contained a defibrillator which brought The Flash Back to Life!

It is great to know that Dr. Watkins Jr. can save real lives and super heroes lives! Rest In Peace Dr. Watkins!