Vol. 5    No. 18
September 9, 2010

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

Subscription Information:
The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000
Advertising: Claire G. Mendoza


Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual, Jessica Pharm,
Laura Salinger, Jessica Strong, &
Martinez White

Heidi @
    Right now, it is 9:06 a.m. on a Friday morning after I have stayed up for most of the night getting this
edition of The Capital City Hues for the printer. I am too close to press time, perhaps I already missed my
theoretical one that both the printer and I know I will never make, an unspoken understanding that it is in my
publishing DNA to always miss my first print deadline. We have another real deadline of which I am
unaware for fear that this second deadline will become my first deadline that I always miss. Things have
been so hectic this week that I haven’t given any real thought to what I was going to write about for this
week’s column. I am tempted to find a recipe on the Internet and plug that into the middle of my column. My
fear — and the fear of any writer — is that no one would notice. I would wander around for two weeks
wondering if anyone read the darn thing. So that option is out.
    Now something comes to mind. I find Kaleem Caire’s proposal to start an all-boy’s school to be very
intriguing. Some might find it abhorrent to segregate probably mainly African American young men in a
separate school where they would focus on their studies. I expect the proposal to raise a lot of discussion
in the African American community and the community beyond for it raises fundamental philosophical
questions about our public education and in a very visible way points out once again that Madison public
schools are not getting it done for the majority of African American students This is a discussion that this
community needs to have.
    People might be horrified to think of the prospect of having a same-sex, same-race school dedicated to
academic excellence. Well this wouldn’t be the first time that this concept has been implemented in the
state of Wisconsin. I as well as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett who is running for governor and a whole host
of others including many a Milwaukee judge, doctor and business leader are the product of a same-sex,
same-race high school. It is called Marquette University High School operated by the Jesuits. Marquette is
and was an all-boys school. And when I went there in the latter part of the 1960s, it was a same-race
school, namely Euro-American with a smattering of African American and Latino students. I think — and
hope — it is more integrated now. I know that they still cling to the all-boys model.
    I have to admit that I received an excellent education at Marquette High. It taught me how to think
rationally through its academically rigorous and college-prep courses. It also taught me how to write. Those
were the good old days when we had to diagram our sentences to show dependent clauses, verbs and the
whole works. It sure was a pain in the backside then, but writing now is almost second nature to me now,
right next to breathing and eating. I almost instinctually know what a proper sentence looks like and what
the proper placement of words is.
    Marquette also allowed me to develop my artistic flair. I became quite proficient in silk screening and op
art back in the crazy, psychedelic days of Peter Max. I even won Honorable Mention for a print that I made of
George Harrison, the late Beatle. It was a wonderful developmental time for me where I was truly able to
hone the skills that God has given me.
    Now I can’t say that all of this is attributable to going to an all-boys school. I am sure that there were a lot
of other factors that shaped my development such as wonderful parents and the teaching commitment of the
Jesuits. But nonetheless, it could have been the fact that I did go to an all-boys school with a teaching staff
that was committed to excellence. It just might have been that.
    So while I am sure that Caire’s proposal to create an all-boys and all-girls school will raise a lot of
concern just because it would attract a lot of African American children, I hope that this community will give
the proposal a fair and rational vetting. Of course the proposal needs to be thoroughly discussed and
analyzed because it would, out of the gates, affect 80 children under the charge of the Madison Metropolitan
School District. We have to make sure this is going to be a good situation for them before we invest in it as
a community. But I hope it isn’t trashed before it even gets out of the gate for political or parochial reasons.
It seems that most of the discussion in our community recently has been what to cut form the MMSD budget
and little has been spent on discussing the education that our children are receiving. Let’s give Caire’s
proposal a fresh look for the sake of many of the African American students in our community.
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                              Some Thoughts