Their history and greatness are conveyed to them in daily Black history facts, in African proverbs, poems, and stories. Examples of the ‘firsts’ of African-Americans in this country portrayed in each classroom. From George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama, Oprah, and many more, my students can see themselves in the reflection of greatness around them.
“It makes no sense for you to live in Tulsa, be from Tulsa, go to the Tulsa Public School system or through Tulsa schools period and not have any knowledge of these events,” said the Rev. Jamaal Dyer.
And it truly has been a year from “pain to purpose.” I can honestly tell you that I’m not the same person I was a year ago. Because for the last 12 months, I have learned to experience the full weight of the black man’s burden this society places on us.
Black students matched to black teachers have been shown to have higher test scores but we wanted to know if these student-teacher racial matches had longer-lasting benefits. We found the answer is a resounding yes,” said co-author Nicholas Papageorge of Johns Hopkins. “We’re seeing spending just one year with a teacher of the same race can move the dial on one of the most frustratingly persistent gaps in educational attainment — that of low-income black boys. It not only moves the dial, it moves the dial in a powerful way.
Tell them they are excellent because they are Black. Educate them on the history before their ancestors were slaves.
Since last Saturday’s racialized attacks in Charlottesville, a petition calling for the name change has collected over 4,000 signatures.
When I returned to school the next day, I began to play the role. I’d tell myself “remember not to act too black,” so I could fit in.