Tag Archives: urban school districts

Schools and the New Jim Crow: An Interview With Michelle Alexander

Schools and the New Jim Crow: An Interview With Michelle Alexander

 

“I think this mythology—that of course we’re all beyond race, of course our police officers aren’t racist, of course our politicians don’t mean any harm to people of color—this idea that we’re beyond all that (so it must be something else) makes it difficult for young people as well as the grown-ups to be able to see clearly and honestly the truth of what’s going on. It makes it difficult to see that the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement manifested itself in the form of mass incarceration, in the form of defunding and devaluing schools serving kids of color and all the rest. We have avoided in recent years talking openly and honestly about race out of fear that it will alienate and polarize. In my own view, it’s our refusal to deal openly and honestly with race that leads us to keep repeating these cycles of exclusion and division, and rebirthing a caste-like system that we claim we’ve left behind.”

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When Black Kids Want to Learn and the World Tells Them ‘No’

When Black Kids Want to Learn and the World Tells Them ‘No’

“In light of the recent news out of Chicago, I think we should take another look at first lady Michelle Obama’s remarks from her commencement address at Bowie State University. Particularly this part:

But today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of ‘separate but equal,’ when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.

I hope the first lady has seen this video of 9-year-old Asean Johnson, on the eve of Chicago’s Board of Education vote to close fifty schools, telling a crowd of protesters, ‘You should be investing in these schools, not closing them. You should be supporting these schools, not closing them.’ He wasn’t alone and this wasn’t the first demonstration. Young black people were out in the streets fighting for their right to an education and they were ignored.”

Read more: When Black Kids Want to Learn and the World Tells Them ‘No’ | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/174536/when-black-kids-want-learn-and-world-tells-them-no#ixzz2WJAyjIwe 
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