Almost 100 years ago, African American, Luther Boddy received notoriety for killing two white detectives in Harlem. Over 40,000 police were deployed in a massive three-state manhunt. A look behind the headlines reveals that Boddy faced the same problems that African Americans still face today.

Image for post
Image for post

“I cannot understand why some men, immediately on donning a police uniform, become instruments of horror and cruel methods.” Morris Koeing, Luther Boddy’s lawyer, 1922

Luther Boddy, an ex-convict who was known to police in Harlem, for several run-ins with the law, killed two White New York City Detectives, William H. Miller, and Francis J.M. Buckley. The detectives were bringing Boddy in for questioning relating to the shooting of a Black policeman weeks earlier. The Black policeman was shot at four times and hit twice; in the abdomen and shoulder. …


Private and government sectors have to step in and provide what our schools can’t.

Image for post
Image for post

BACKGROUND

The October 2020 Homeland Threat Assessment Report, prepared by the Department of Homeland Security’ stated cybersecurity is the number one threat facing America. This threat is ranked higher than economic security, terrorist threats, illegal immigration, and natural disasters. The cyber threat comes from Federal, state, local, tribal, territorial governments, and the private sector. Ransomware has doubled in the last two years. Additionally, cybercriminal activity was responsible for over 2.7 billion losses in 2018 and had been growing annually. …


Their machismo is confined to the studio.

Image for post
Image for post

Rappers and Trump have a lot in common. To their followers, they are tough, take no nonsense manly men! But that view does not extend to those outside their orbit. Thinking of Trump as a tough guy is laughable. I can’t imagine any universe where he would remotely be considered anything but a sniveling coward hiding behind money and power. Trump is at an age where the lines between males and females are blurred, and he comes across as an old angry woman. Rappers do not fare better. They only seem to be tough around their own fans. They project this street toughness image by bragging about their sexual conquest, violence, their cars, money, Glocks, gold chains, and their disdain for law enforcement. …


How COVID-19 is making me re-think my outlook on Education

Image for post
Image for post

Some of the things I’ve learned were predictable. Even though many schools have online learning instruction in place for certain classes, no school was prepared for the sudden and massive shift toward online learning. There were issues of computers, software, access, the learning curve for teachers and students. As we move on, it is essential to continue to build the online learning infrastructure. That means that we have to ensure we have the proper equipment, learning software, and teacher training.

We are forced to make reassessments to our content delivery. The restriction has enabled improvements. Since communication between students and teachers is more limited than in a traditional setting, communications and instructions have to be clearer and more nuanced. …


Old-school methods still work to help students learn during online teaching.

Image for post
Image for post

A little over a decade ago, a biology teacher in the high school I taught at incorporated videos in her classroom. The videos were made by the teacher and included lessons for the week. Most of the videos were over an hour-long, almost the same length as the class at that time. When students arrived in class, they watched the videos or did the lessons and labs on the videos. The videos replaced the instructional duties of the teachers. She became more of a facilitator or maybe less. The students did not enjoy the class. The instruction delivery of uninspiring, and they were not engaged. …


Technology is moving ahead with or without us.

Image for post
Image for post

We are in the grips of a pandemic, and at this point, most of us will agree that we do not know if we are close to the end of the pandemic, or we may yet be approaching the middle. However, either way, the effects of the pandemic will stay with us long after it ends. Masks, fiberglass shields, disinfectant stations, distancing, and virtual stadium fans are a few of the things that will stick around for a long time. …


These books continue to inspire my writing

Image for post
Image for post

For the last few months, I have been working from home. And like so many others, this is a time that I am discovering new things about myself. During the pandemic, have I read more books and written more stories and articles than I have done in the past five years combined. Something funny has happened; for the first time, I have found my voice as far as writing.

It is not that I was using another voice. It was because I cared things in my writing that only hindered the process. I threw out the garbage of being grammatically correct, being understandable, and writing something that would be acceptable. Underneath all of that mental garbage was the real me. Now I can do things quicker and say more with less. I still may not be a better writer or even a good writer. But now, at least it doesn’t feel like hard labor to me, and I can work and actually enjoy writing! As Johannah Rodgers said in her book, Sentences, “I write because I cannot not write.” …


A funny thing happened on our way to Vogel Canyon

Image for post
Image for post
Highway 350 — in the Purgatoire River Region

My wife kept telling me to slow down. My replies: Leave me alone, please. After all, I know what I am doing. I was already in a lousy mood because I took an unintended scenic route on our way to Vogel Canyon. We were not lost. However, I drove 50 miles in the wrong direction! Our GPS was wacky. It had us making turns onto dead-end desolate dirt roads and forest areas. Unfortunately, this was a scorching day. The later you wait to go hiking on the desert high plains, the more difficult the hike. …


Wallowing in pain and sorrow seems to be in fashion these days.

Image for post
Image for post
A great time to write about black woes

Killer cops, armed teenaged vigilantes, hate groups, a racist president, secret federal agents, economic woes, voter suppression, election-year politics, hurricanes, forest fires, riots, and oh yeah — we are in the middle of a global pandemic…who wouldn’t be depressed? I’m depressed. I know I can’t be the only one. My world is full of anger; I’m emotional, I’m worried, and I’m disappointed.

I’m disappointed in our President. He will do anything to win an election; ethics, morality, and the rule of law can all be damned! He is doing it in the open, which makes this so surreal. I’m disappointed in the politicians who help and defend him. I’m disappointed in the Christians who stand by him, even though he breaks every law that Jesus taught. I’m disappointed in the Democrats in the House who seem to be a very weak foe. I think I am allowed to feel a certain way about all of this. …


Sometimes the criminals are right under our nose

Image for post
Image for post

When I was a high school technology teacher, one of my students managed to break into the school’s grading software to change his grades. This particular student was a brilliant young man who had little interest in school. His interest was only computers; his specialty was hacking networks. His grades were low, and he faced the possibility of not graduating that next month.

I was warned about this student by non-other than his father. His dad told me tales of woe about how his son hacked their home system, even though he took technical measures to stop him from wreaking havoc in their home. His son joined my CyberPatriot team. He had a great talent for writing scripts, which cut our troubleshooting in half, and this helped to elevate our CyberPatriot program to be one of the top programs in the country. …

About

Thomas Holt Russell

Educator, writer, photographer and modern-day Luddite. http://thomasholtrussell.zenfolio.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store