Teaching for Change

First written February 8, 2015 by Zakiya Jackson

Shipping fees.

I hate them. Literally.

Even before I was an Amazon Prime Member — which I’ve been for years now — I was not here for shipping fees. No ma’am.

Unless the deal is stupid good, paying for shipping almost makes my skin crawl. And then, even when the deal is massively significant, like 78% off, the shipping still tends to irritate me.

I have become….wait for it….entitled to free shipping.

And not only free, fast. I blame this on Amazon Prime and Victoria’s Secret online — calm down, they sell nice clothes too. Nice things that fit properly and they have massively significant sales. And they ship fast.

Wait a week? For anything? Um…no. Not gonna happen unless it’s just really required. Like ordering a bridesmaids dress. I cannot have that in two days with free shipping.

Other stuff I can have though — real fast. And real free on the shipping.

Books? Oh yeah — two days. Works. (Almost) Every. Time.

But then.

Then I was on a trip in DC. And I went several times to this magical place called Busboy’s and Poets.

​​SMLXL

I called one of my mentees while I was there and told her about the magic — I can’t remember what I somewhat incoherently told her. This is how it is described online:

“Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.”

Yes. That’s the magic. It’s a lounge/restaurant/bar/venue that also has a non-profit/bookstore housed inside it. Um….all I knows is the first time I went there I ate some bangin’ shrimp n’ grits that fed my body and the atmosphere and aesthetics fed my soul.

Post by Busboys and Poets.

The bookstore is independently run by the progressive, non-profit organization Teaching for Change (TFC). TFC is more magic. Books and curriculum, from pre-school to adulthood, related to People of Color and other marginalized groups. Some of it is just good stuff written by us, on a variety of topics. Some is about Social Justice.

Liberation. Poetry. Religion. Dopeness. So much dopeness. Can you tell that I’m all about this place? On one of my visits I came to buy a book called “Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching” and the man running the store said, “If you’ll be here a little while, you can meet one of the editors of the book and get it signed.” Huh?

What? I can just meet the lady who made this book happen? Yeah that’s cool. I’ll do that.

Wow.

Post by Teaching for Change.

I bought several books …okay several severals…that day and was really inspired by my experience. TFC isn’t just a bookstore- it’s also a non-profit that helps teachers empower students to be agents of change.

“Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world.

Teaching for Change operates from the belief that schools can provide students the skills, knowledge and inspiration to be citizens and architects of a better world — or they can fortify the status quo. By drawing direct connections to real world issues, Teaching for Change encourages teachers and students to question and re-think the world inside and outside their classrooms, build a more equitable, multicultural society, and become active global citizens.”

Yes. Yes. Yes and Amen. They even share stuff on their social media.

Free #Selma Lesson! http://t.co/yHSMASdMV4 rigorously tested & researched by @teachingchange .- resources too! pic.twitter.com/CGEKCCllvI— Teaching For Change (@TFCbooks) January 24, 2015

Well so then I get back to the frozen tundra aka #PureMichigan. And I want some more books. Conveniently TFC has an online bookstore as well. This is perfect right, because I’ve also been much more intentional about buying from places that are Black and Minority owned since the boycott of Black Friday. So I find the books I want.

Go to check out.

And find.

Shipping costs.

And it’ll take more than two days.

Oh my gosh my life is over. #FirstWorldProblems

AND one of the books I want is more expensive than on Amazon.

Wayment though, one of them is cheaper, so that balances out.

But shipping. Mmmmmkay.

Watamgonnado.

(What Am I Going To Do, but real fast and slightly panicked.)

So I thought about it y’all. Not only had I participated in the boycott of Black Friday, I also did Black December. What if I decided to support Teaching for Change for all of 2015? What if any book that I want/need that can be brought from TFC, I get there instead of Amazon? And what if I budget for that by continuing to not buy certain things? Yep. I can do that. I decided not to buy a new winter coat, as I had been planning, and make do with what I got. So I’ve been using a coat that I don’t care for anymore (woe is me) and has a janky zipper. Sometimes I get stuck in my coat y’all. Cute. Real cute.

And then I also use another lighter coat and just layer up underneath.

I’m making it work. Now the $100-$150 I was going to spend on a fancy full length down alternative (or some other boughie sounding term that I didn’t think about in the South) coat is all for shipping and any other costs related to supporting TFC. The first order I did cost me about $15 more. I’m about to do another order and it will cost me maybe $20 more — one of the several books I’m getting is special order. Still, I have a long way to go out of that $100-$150.

It still hurts slightly when I hit the submit button on my order, seeing those shipping costs. But I am so so glad to do it. I and my coats will be fine. It’s worth it to support TFC. I hope that you will consider doing the same. What can you give up in order toget your books from this organization? Or what other #FirstWorldProblems can you stomach in order to support Black and Minority businesses and organizations? Please do it — not just for the students and children we are making a different world for, but for you too. I believe sacrifice builds our character. Makes us put our money where our mouths are–yah know? It certainly is building mine. I’ve heard before that Amazon is bully with authors, but have not seriously considered what that means. So this is causing me to do that as well.

Let’s rise y’all. It’ll cost us a lot more than shipping, but each step counts.

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Collected Young Minds gave young minds a space to share their thoughts, engage with a community of peers, and gave voice to their views without censorship or prerequisites. This is a collection of essays written between 2013 and 2019 from various authors.

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Nicole Young

Nicole Young

Nicole is a writer, educator, and procrasti-baker, living in Philly. She‘s also a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina and VA native.

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