Today (Monday) I was privileged to sit in on a university class that made me realize teaching can be a dance between student and teacher, a dance that involves listening and speaking, leading and following, inspiring and being inspired.
Aku Kadogo and I had been encountering one another at various artistic venues of late. When we finally introduced ourselves and I heard a bit of her story, I asked if I could sit in on one of her Wayne State University classes and photograph her teaching. I could tell she would be a joy to watch. Aku graciously agreed and we set today as the day and Black Theater as the class. What I didn't know until after the class had ended was that Aku had been the principal of a dance college during her years in Australia. It showed! Her every move was perfectly matched to the message she was conveying to her students, even the way in which she stood while listening. This woman is totally present every minute, and I think that is one of her greatest gifts.
Aku is impacting these young people in profoundly positive ways. And I was changed as well. How fortunate we are that such individuals choose to teach our youth, especially Detroit's urban youth. On a day when our city's mayor embarrassed us around the world, Aku Kadogo did us proud. How I wish the media would cover her story as thoroughly as they cover Kwame Kilpatrick's.