A reflection on visions coming into fruition & the gravity of the journey that lies ahead by Stacey James McAdoo
I woke up on the morning of October 10, 2018 (two days after being surprised with the announcement that I had been named the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year) full of gratitude and extremely emotional. A vision that I had over twenty years ago was very clear and at the forefront of my mind. This vision was one where I saw myself standing on top of a hill talking to what looked like millions of people. And there’s some sort of flag waving in the background. At the time I thought it was me reciting my revolutionary “love for my people” poems or the future “I’m gonna be a famous poet/writer/activist who will change the world and liberate my people”, Stacey.
When my 18-year-old self shared this with my momma (although I don’t remember what she said) I remember feeling her fear. And I understood it because Black folk – especially revolutionary poets, no nonsense activists and orators – often die around here. I later tucked the vision in the recesses of my mind and gave up lofty dreams.
Years later, after I entered the classroom, I interpreted that vision to mean that I was going to change the world…not necessarily from on top of a battlefield-like hill…but by one student at a time through my classroom. On this day it hit me that I will soon be the voice not only of the nearly 34,000 certified teachers in the State of Arkansas, but I will also be representing its roughly 500,000 students. And I just might make it to the hill.
Leave a comment that shares what your vision of love looks like and/or describes a dream that you’ve seen or would like to see come into fruition.
*Stacey James McAdoo, the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year (affectionately referred to as 2019ATOY), is a 16 year Oral Communication instructor, AVID Coordinator and sponsor of the spoken word collective called Writeous Poets from Little Rock, Arkansas. She teaches at the historic Little Rock Central High School where she is the living embodiment of her ATOY platform of using passion and poetry to close the opportunity gap.*