November 18, 2017 rss
header twitter link facebook link home link
View Resource Guide and Job Postings

Weekly Update

Detroit’s Fiery Schoolhouse Crusader

Out this month is a fascinating “tell-all” autobiography by Dr. John Telford, a long-time Detroit area schoolteacher, administrator and social activist. Pulling no punches (he’s a former boxer) and pushing his “tell-it-like-I-see-it” philosophy, Telford describes his five-decades crusade to save Detroit kids from educational neglect and mismanagement.

Telford’s fight for educational equality (as well as his personal missteps along the way) has created enough entanglements for five lifetimes, which makes for a page-turning book.

Metro Detroit natives might recognize Telford’s voice and colorful personality in A Life on the RUN: Seeking and Safeguarding Social Justice, published by Harmonie Park Press. He was a long-time contributor to the Michigan Chronicle, has authored columns and editorials for the major Detroit papers and has hosted local radio shows.

The book form has afforded Telford the opportunity to expand on the theme he has propounded in the media — and anywhere else he can find an audience — for more than 50 years. He decries society’s abandonment of African American students of Detroit’s, and the nation’s, inner city schools and says it will haunt us for generations to come, in the form of economic woe and social unrest, unless we reverse course.

In a fast-paced sprint through the author’s professional and personal peaks and valleys, Telford (also a former world-ranked runner) lays out his philosophy of equality, based on an ancient Celtic code of honor instilled by his less-than-perfect but courageous Scottish father.

From his rambunctious and randy formative years in Detroit to his nearly equally rowdy professional years in and around the city, Telford made himself a magnet for controversy, and thereby ensured that the problems in Detroit area schools and communities (inequitable school funding, illiteracy, racism, classism, moral decay, violence) were not overlooked.

A Life on the RUN will, by turns, break your heart, make you chuckle and fan your flames of indignation whether you’re a school reform activist, a feminist (he freely admits he was a womanizer and eventually apologizes), a Republican (he’s a vociferous liberal Democrat) or a Detroit school administrator (many of whom he condemns individually and collectively).

Telford relished and thrived in an environment that would cause many another teacher and administrator to suffer, at the least, stress-induced high blood pressure or, worse, debilitating depression or numbing fear.

He relates how he routinely broke up violent encounters — not just between students at the inner-city schools where he worked but involving administrators, parents and unwelcome “outsiders” such as truants, drop-outs, drug dealers and pimps — and attempted to deal with the soul-crushing personal, family and gang problems of his students.

In one particularly stomach-churning and heart-stopping incident, Telford recounts how he was on another floor, unable to stop a mob of students from beating to death a young man inside a Detroit high school (the victim had gone to the school to avenge some slight suffered by his sister). One can only imagine the effort it must have taken (and takes today) to bring kids back from that kind of horror and/or desensitization.

The excerpted journal entries of students he taught in English classes through the years are quietly poignant, making clear how little things have improved for black kids in urban schools over the last several decades.

Considered together, his stark anecdotes bring home the near-insurmountable challenge that resurrecting the Detroit school system represents. Yet, rather than leaving the reader feeling discouraged and hopeless, Telford’s energetic joy in his mission makes one believe there is hope. With a fearlessness verging on lunacy, Telford managed to blaze a navigable, positive path for many students who were influenced by his example and swayed by his love for them. Others will have to do the same.

Despite the autobiography’s occasionally laborious self-indulgence and name dropping (the author is perhaps too proud of his athletic success and connections for this reader), Telford’s heart and energies are, and have been, in the right place. A Life on the RUN is an education in and of itself for anyone who cares about improving children’s futures.

With his traditional career waning (he is now 74 but has, by no means, “retired” from his crusade) it’s clear the overarching purpose of the book is to create more activists and improve the lives of more Michigan children — a noble challenge that this book meets head on.

Bookworm Jean B. Eggemeyer owns the Williamston-based communications and marketing firm Carillon Communications LLC, serving the business and association communities.

January 16, 2010 · Filed under Bookit Tags: , , , , , ,

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 amino review // Mar 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    640244 531948Outstanding post, I conceive people should larn a lot from this weblog its very user friendly . 974717

  • 2 مجله اینترنتی // Mar 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    902816 303937Gratitude for building this send! I in reality realize the no cost information. 577830

  • 3 // Mar 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    409752 436748Hey there, Can I copy this post image and implement it on my individual web log? 283081

  • 4 Watch Video Here // Mar 8, 2014 at 7:37 am

    10349 671794I ran into this page accidentally, surprisingly, this is a great website. The site owner has done a great job writing/collecting articles to post, the info here is really insightful. You just secured yourself a guarenteed reader. 858513

  • 5 how to create my own website // Mar 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

    7576 182157hi and thanks regarding the specific post ive truly been searching regarding this kind of info online for sum time these days hence thanks a great deal 625935

  • 6 health // Mar 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    619663 479623I believe this internet internet site contains quite superb composed articles posts . 195479

  • 7 moving dc // Mar 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    556489 134428I like the valuable information you give within your articles. I

  • 8 free slot machines no download // Mar 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    673877 467852Some truly nice stuff on this web website , I adore it. 298993

  • 9 penny stocks // Mar 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    306421 961679I like this weblog so considerably, saved to my bookmarks . 457945

  • 10 hidemyass pro // Mar 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    What are the hours of work? best price kamagra the monitor should have been completed.

  • 11 dealer // Mar 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    309978 884410You produced some decent points there. I looked on the internet for that concern and located most individuals goes along with along along with your internet internet site. 16974

  • 12 photographer in az // Mar 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    48101 441486

  • 13 photographer mesa az // Mar 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    333812 77970Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your website in internet explorer, might test this

  • 14 Full Article // Mar 13, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for another informative web site. Where else could I get that type of information written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  • 15 start your own blog // Mar 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    625416 509053Is going to be back incessantly in order to check out new posts 27553

  • 16 Make money online // Mar 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    981499 951507Where else may anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing? 653790

  • 17 How lenticular postcard printing is done // Mar 13, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    625642 47240Soon after study some with the weblog articles for your internet site now, and that i genuinely like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site list and are checking back soon. Pls consider my internet internet site too and inform me what you consider. 662080

  • 18 how to build your own website // Mar 14, 2014 at 12:53 am

    295648 230504very nice post, i definitely enjoy this amazing site, persist with it 631483

  • 19 how to build your own website // Mar 14, 2014 at 2:07 am

    401332 625863very nice post, i undoubtedly adore this excellent website, carry on it 515028

  • 20 cheats youtube // Mar 14, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • 21 info on walt disney world vacation packages // Mar 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    703582 252799You

  • 22 continue reading this // Mar 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    573607 31786This can indicate that a watch has spent some or all of its life inside the tropics and was not serviced as regularly as it need to have been. 459691

  • 23 tips and info on florida vacation packages // Mar 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    724183 801242I visited plenty of site but I believe this 1 contains something extra in it in it 248783

  • 24 tips on universal studios packages // Mar 14, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    822840 990700Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks! 383830

  • 25 iphone screen privacy // Mar 15, 2014 at 2:27 am

    937343 784912Yay google is my king assisted me to discover this outstanding web site ! . 153699

  • 26 highest rated iphone 5 cases // Mar 15, 2014 at 2:48 am

    771747 531571I admire your work , regards for all the useful blog posts. 974559

  • 27 Leo Borey // Mar 15, 2014 at 10:11 am

    As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  • 28 Best Child Custody Attorney in Williamsburg Virginia // Mar 15, 2014 at 11:28 am

    276844 84669There is an ending. Just remember that I meant for this to be an art game. I do feel like I spent an inordinate amount of time on the far more traditional gameplay elements, which could make the meaning with the game a bit unclear. In case you mess about with it though, you will uncover it. 91833

  • 29 dead, deer, dead deer removal, dead animal removal nj, pick up dead animal nj, nj dead animal removal, dead animal pick up nj, dead deer removal nj, dead deer, dead animal nj, remove dead animal nj, remove dead animal new jersey, dead animal pick up new j // Mar 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    755038 268912What a excellent viewpoint, nonetheless is just not produce every sence by any means discussing this mather. Just about any technique thanks and also i had try and discuss your post directly into delicius but it surely appears to be an issue in your blogging is it possible you should recheck this. thank you just as before. 353418

  • 30 Option Binaire // Mar 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

  • 31 option binaire // Mar 16, 2014 at 12:16 am

    It is perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.
    I have learn this post and if I could I desire to recommend you few interesting
    things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I wish to learn more things about it!

  • 32 qdFB0RTyZN qdFB0RTyZN // Mar 16, 2014 at 4:56 am

    The Absent Game

    Involving me and my husband we’ve owned extra MP3 players over the years than I can count, which includes Sansas, iRivers, iPods (basic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few decades I’ve settled down to one line of gamers.

  • 33 Lura Kukauskas // Mar 16, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your article. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

  • 34 search engine optimization singapore // Mar 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    359117 436395Attractive portion of content material. I basically stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I is going to be subscribing to your augment and even I success you get admission to constantly speedily. 548176

  • 35 Jerrell Florine // Mar 17, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I think other site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  • 36 create a website // Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

    600390 321067How do I know if a WordPress theme supports a subscribe option? 432851

  • 37 make a website // Mar 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    49633 106850It can be difficult to write about this topic. I feel you did a terrific job though! Thanks for this! 839773

  • 38 SafePro Windshield Replacement // Mar 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    585945 794379Gratitude for building this send! I in reality understand the no cost info. 52674



© 2007-2011 All rights reserved. Site design by Kimberly Hopkins, khopdesign, llc.