NEWARK, NJ | NYLE FORT
Nyle Fort is a Master’s of Divinity candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary, a youth pastor, writer, activist, and substitute teacher in Newark, New Jersey.
What moment politicized and radicalized Nyle?
How did Nyle describe himself as a person before he heard Mumia Abu-Jamal speak? How did listening to Mumia change Nyle?
Nyle is a substitute teacher in Newark. What has he observed in this job about the role of police in schools?
Nyle was raised in the church, a place which he says can be very homophobic. Yet his mother is in a relationship with a woman. How was Nyle able to reconcile (or understand and make peace with) the differences between what he was seeing at home and what he was learning at church?
Nyle says one of the biggest problems in Newark is the state of public education. Read the piece by Nyle, along with the other articles, to learn more about Newark’s education crisis.
Use the articles in “Newark History” to answer and discuss the following questions:
Nyle had to choose between working as a sub on the day of the walkout, and participating in the protest. Which did he choose and why?
What is the purpose of the Newark Students Union and what are some of their demands?
Nyle wrote, “Student protesters have made the city their classroom and the current political conditions their curriculum.” In what ways can the world outside of school teach you more than the traditional lessons learned in the classroom? Have you had any experiences like this? If so, describe them.
What issues in your own community and school would you be you willing to organize and protest about?
Is there anything you would be willing to go to jail for? If you were arrested for being involved in a political protest, how do you think your parents would respond?
In the video, Nyle says, “When we say black lives matter, we mean all black lives. We don’t just simply mean black men, we don’t just simply mean straight black people, we don’t just simply mean middle class black people.”
The murder rate of trans women of color is extremely high, and yet their deaths receive much less media attention and outrage than the murders of black men. Many Black Lives Matter activists, like Nyle, are attempting to change this. Read the following articles and use the discussion questions to think more deeply about these issues.
Why do these activists think it’s important to include trans and queer black lives in the Black Lives Matter movement? Do you agree?
What are some of the sacrifices and struggles some queer and trans black activists have had to make?
Looking at the signs and posters shown in the last link. Which sign resonates most with you and why?