Dr. Rhonda Key and Dr. Miranda Ming: "The Black Man in a Suit"
Meet Rhonda Key
Dr. Key has served as a teacher and administrator in urban school districts throughout her career. Previously she held the position of improvement specialist in Jennings from 2011-2012 before moving to Decatur, Illinois where she served as principal of MacArthur High School. In 2014, Dr. Key was named one of Five Women to Make a Difference in the Decatur/Macon County area of Illinois. Prior to becoming a principal, Dr. Key has served as interim superintendent of the Riverview Gardens School District, and she is currently supporting the turn-around efforts in Kansas City School District as a mentor for principals.
Dr. Key earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Lincoln University, and she completed her doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Dr. Miranda Ming, has served in both the education and corporate field and is entering her fifth year in Jennings School District, where she previously served as Professional Learning Coordinator, Department Chair, and College Preparation English Language Arts teacher. Prior to joining the Warrior family, Dr. Ming worked in the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District, as English teacher and in the Corporate sector as a Corporate Trainer.
Beginning her collegiate career at Alabama A & M University, but soon returning to the St. Louis area to obtain her Bachelors , Masters, and Doctorate Degree from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She joins the administrative team with experience in student achievement & engagement as she obtained an average of over 90% Proficient & Advanced College Prep students, and over 60% Proficiency for traditional students on the End of Course Exams. Dr. Ming focuses on developing rigorous and engaging instructional practices, while building relationships with staff, students, community members, and parents. She believes that the possibilities for 21st century learners who are working to eliminate barriers are limitless.
The Black Man in a Suit
Black women all over the world have been conditionalized to outwork the competition. The idea of mediocrity is disturbing for many who understand his or her role as educational leader and the essential part it plays in shaping the lives of young people. The black educational professional connects her personal sense of responsibility to the work she does every day. As a result, she unapologetically makes the impossible possible. There is true power in black men and women collaboratively working toward an intended mission. This collaboration, however, is being overshadowed by the shift in urban education. In Urban education, the current rhetoric supports the notion of a black savior: The Black Man in a Suit. The Black man in a suit is often idolized within education and his daily life opposes that of the black female. Black males in education are a commodity. As a result, many are so enamored by his academic lingo, tailored suit, and enticing scent that he is placed in demanding leadership roles. The assumption is that he will be the motivator, activator, and connector. These assumptions, however, often leave the black man in a suit to continue looking the part, while the black female connects the parts together and makes the impossible possible. The Black man in a suit is so focused on uplifting the black male, while he remains unaware of the dire needs of the black female. Our young Black females are dying...dying metaphorically and literally. Yet, he steers from an instructional leader modeling best practices to an elevated savior. This contrast is dangerous and is one that exist in urban schools throughout the country.