We now live in the postmodern era where people on a daily basis are combating social, political, and economic issues that plague and effect all. Though these issues require a systematic approach toward rectification, it is quite evident that the narrative behind the problem is unquestionably vital. Cultural crusading, in this case, play a role in policy change, particularly for groups interested in influencing dogmatic narratives. It can also play a role in making ourselves visible and challenging narratives at the level of culture (and popular culture in particular).
The ramifications in allowing the name of a person who protected and promoted white supremacy, white power, a Ku Klux Klan mentality, and Nazism — all racist ideologies at their core the same — to remain on the side of a public school building is detrimental to race relations for the city and the nation.
According to the Tulsa Public Schools Strategic Plan, 25.7 percent of students are chronically absent. Research shows that students who have more than ten unexcused absences are less likely to succeed in their classes, less likely to graduate, and more likely to have problems with education and employment later in life.
The Black Wall St Times asked T’erra Estes, founder and director of the nonprofit Teach Not Punish. The organization provides a support system that empowers families and professionals by offering educational opportunities that inspire positive behavioral change in homes and the workplace.
The SPLC’s report chronicles the timeline of the namings and finds that there are two distinct time periods wherein these schools were named. The first was during the rise of Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws throughout the south and at the time of the Tulsa Race Massacre in Greenwood. The second was immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision of Brown v. Board.
OPINION BY | Nehemiah D. Frank
Let us be frank: renaming Robert E. Lee Elementary School “Lee School” is a lash on the back of every African-American student attending a Tulsa public school, which is alarming considering 25 percent of TPS’ total student population is composed of African-American pupils.
TPS may as well remount the “No Colored” signs and command all the Negro students, Negro teachers, and Negro staff to ignore the symbol that acknowledges, values, and promotes white superiority in a 21st-century integrated educational setting.
But if your child receives a rejection letter, the cloud of depression instantly appears as a dark cloud over the entire house. And like clockworks, the tears began to fall for the student who see themselves as unworthy.