For African-American students in the state of Oklahoma, the quest for a quality education continues. Residents from north Tulsa are still harboring feelings of mistrust after a purposed closing of the 7-grade Mclain building and plans for Emerson Elementary school to transform into a Montessori were discussed at a recent Town Hall meeting.
black Americans, are perpetually having to carefully navigate the delicate sensibilities of white Americans in their quest to just be given their basic humanity and dignity in all aspects of their existence has only continued to leave black Americans in a white fragility minefield where our best interests are always left behind.
It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate goals of his life.
Is the upset that code-switching is considered wrong? Is it the use of the term “standard English” that is offensive? Is it the expectation that students must switch their speech? I don’t ask these questions out of ignorance. I ask to hear what the upset is explicit.
By Managing Editor Timantha Norman
Tulsa, Okla. — During my especially tumultuous second year of teaching for the city’s largest public school district, a student was placed in my class mid-year with little to no background information given from the counselor or administration on the student. I only heard a few vague insinuations about her and things that were “different” about her. When she arrived into my class, she informed me that she went by a different name than what was listed as her birth name, which happened to be a stereotypically male first name. With this revelation and other aspects of her physical appearance, it became evident that she was transgender. This student also happened to be African-American. I had had a transgender student in one of my classes — before, a white transgender male. However, the difference in how these two students were treated by the school’s staff and administration was palpable.
In light of President Trump’s recent—and disgusting—comments about immigrants from Africa, Haiti and any other countries he considers to be “shitholes”, I have been reflecting on so many wonderful people from the very places that he chose to insult. People who are more optimistic, grateful, hardworking, and kind than pretty much anybody I’ve ever met, let alone the current leader of the free world. One young Rhode Island man in particular stands out in my mind. He is a double refugee who arrived to Providence, Rhode Island only a few short years ago after a life of strife and struggle that most of us, including the President, can’t even fathom. He is someone whose story I have shared with my own three sons because of how remarkable he is in both spirit and strength. Despite his own enormous challenges, he is driven by a desire to give back to those in need.
By Erika Sanzi Note: This piece first ran as the weekly ‘Coffee Break’ interview at Education Post. “It was either move the company or start a school.” —Paul Campbell Paul Campbell grew […]
Your Neighborhood School May Not Make the Rankings But That Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Right for Your Kid
My youngest daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and a speech delay. She requires a significant amount of support in order to be successful in the traditional class with her non-disabled peers. And my local public school is providing my daughter with an amazing implementation of her rather complex Individual Education Plan (IEP).
“I had often observed, that when her mother washed her face it looked very rosy; but when she washed mine it did not look so; I therefore tried oftentimes myself if I could not by washing make my face of the same color as my little play-mate(Mary), but it was all in vain; and I now began to be mortified at the difference in our complexions. (Equiano, 1794, p.64)”
People, who are usually white, often tell me that I am too obsessed with race. In fact, I have even been criticized and compared to a race fanatic. Notwithstanding those allegations, I will always believe that systemic racism is a facet for today’s illiteracy curse plaguing the multitude of Black children some one-hundred-fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation — the epoch, in American history, that lead to the appearance of Black liberation. However, I, now, reckon the more significant problem stems from an aristocratic class of Americans, one-percenters — mostly white — who do not care about people of color nor poor White people. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us —Black, Brown, and White — to participate in that extension of democracy granted to the masses by the few decent, human beings among the upper classes.