By Ariele Vaccaro
There will be a memorial community prayer service for Taki Raton on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 3500 N. Sherman Blvd. in the former green WOKY building on the corner of Sherman Blvd. and Fond du Lac Avenue. The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held by Angela Davis, president of Knowledge Consulting, Inc. Ms. Davis taught with Taki at Mills Christian Academy.
Parking will be available at the rear of the building where those attending the service can also enter the building. The service will be held on the main floor. Attendees will be directed to the program.
The work of educator and journalist Taki S. Raton can be found in numerous publications such as the Milwaukee Courier and the Milwaukee Community Journal.
For years, his writing has been a voice of encouragement to African-American youth and the communities they represent.
Raton’s care for Black youth and his joy in their success is clear in his work. In his long-running series “Young, Gifted and Black,” he wrote about the victories and ventures of teenage jet pilots, young inventors, adolescent technology savants, and elementary-school entrepreneurs.
A steadfast advocate for education, Raton founded African-centered Blyden Delany Academy.
The revered school operated for ten years.
He believed wholly that Black teachers should teach Black students, and that those teachers should be lead by an entirely Black school board.
That belief was reflected with pride at Blyden Delany.
“We teach the children the very best things about black people, we hold up the best examples of our race for them to duplicate,” said Raton to former Journal Sentinel Columnist Eugene Kane in a 2010 article about his school.
Raton’s indispensible influence on Milwaukee education would not end at Blyden Delany.
In 2010, he would begin work at Springfield College as an adjunct professor, teaching subjects like creative writing for social change, African-`American history, and exploring racial perspective through literature.
Tony Guajardo, director of the Milwaukee Springfield College campus, knew Raton to be an amiable, passionate coworker.
That passion dared students to ask questions.
“Taki had more of a world perspective,” said Guajardo. “He challenged students.”
In addition to being a voice of inspiration in print, Raton’s voice also graced the airwaves of Harambee Radio. He hosted his own show, “MenThink”.
Raton actively advocated for the presence of the father in a child’s life.
He was all but shy about his beliefs that dependable fathers are integral to their children’s development and outwardly condemned those who did not exhibit interest in their children’s education.
By writing prolifically on the issues that plagued his community and maintaining an honest persona, Raton made strides in local education.
His constant efforts to better a child’s chance of success through learning have made a mark on Milwaukee, and have left communities and neighborhoods aware of their power in knowledge.
Taki S. Raton passed away on July 7.
Funeral arrangements were pending during time of publication.
Please check www.milwaukeecourieronline.com for the time and location of any events to take place in honor of Mr. Raton’s memory.