In March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson, the first Black woman to be elected to that position, posted a photo to her Instagram account where she depicted what she described to be a “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick. She used the hashtags “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool." In response to the backlash from the photo, Maya, who is headed to Wesleyan in the fall, chose to step down. [more inside]
These Spelling Bee Champions Can Teach Us an Important Lesson About Race in America "In the past few years, the 89-year-old competition has seen a striking pattern in which Indian-American contestants have lifted the winner's trophy eight consecutive times and in 13 of the past 17 outings. Their streak feeds into years of conversation around race, achievement and immigrant success — all tied to problematic notions of what it means to be "American."
Tomorrow, is the 60th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision (pdf) in Brown v. Board of Education [more inside]
The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide series is "Segregation Now," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law." [more inside]
I, Too, Am Harvard. A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
The Tumblr blog People of Color in European Art History, or medievalpoc for short, has a simple mission: to showcase works of art from European history that feature People of Color. All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. [more inside]
The New York Times' lead editorial on the Moral Monday arrests (Previously on Metafilter), ending federal unemployment benefits, failing education programs, racial discrimination, and new abortion laws.
Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
In 1939, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark performed an experiment with dolls which was instrumental to Brown vs Board of Education, a case that struck down black/white segregation in American education. Earlier this year, CNN's AC360 aired the results (update, also) of a follow up statistical study on racial bias in today's children. Anderson Cooper himself explains his motives. [more inside]
A new book begins with a quotation from Barack Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2004: "Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white." The book is Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation by Stuart Buck. Buck argues that -- per his subtitle -- the "acting white" phenomenon is the result of the desegregation of America's public schools mandated by the famous 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (decision, Wikipedia). Taking this book as a jumping-off point, John McWhorter and Richard Thompson Ford have a 36-minute conversation about the "acting white" phenomenon and its connection to desegregation. (In addition to that video dialogue, or "diavlog," you can download the conversation as a podcast.) [more inside]
Despite a reputation as an effective multi-cultural city, Toronto continues to have difficulties successfully integrating its communities of African heritage. In response to significantly higher than average high school drop-out rates in those communities, some academics suggested the creation of "black-focused public schools" [PDF] as means of re-engaging black youth with education. Needless to say, this caused debate, controversy, and even anger, but the first afro-centric public elementary school will open this month.
Still Separate, Still Unequal: America's Educational Apartheid, by Jonathon Kozol, from the September issue of Harper's. Even if you're familiar with a big-city public-school system , it's an eye-opener. (Also, if (like I might be on a worse day) you're miffed by yet another Harper's cover story FPP, what do you think about the posting site's Fair Use application? I've never seen that before. No more inside.)
The 'Acting White' Myth. When smart black kids try hard and do well, they are picked on by their less successful peers for 'acting white.' But it isn't true.
You're not from around here, are you? On Tuesday in Wellesley, MA a kindergartener was put on the wrong bus to go home from afterschool care. The boy is black, and the bus is for the Metco program, which buses minority kids from Boston to suburban schools. Random mixup, or racial bias at work? Much hand-wringing ensues.
A split decision from SCOTUS on Affirmative Action -- in cases specifically involving the University of Michigan, the court rules that the law school's AA standard is legal while the undergraduate standard is not. The University president is spinning this as a full out victory because the court has now "given a roadmap" for how Affirmative Action programs can be designed for higher education nationwide. While polls show that Americans want diversity in education but are unsure about Affirmative Action, it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. And the fundamental question remains: when it comes to education, is being a racial minority four times more important than having held a position of national leadership? Twenty times more important than writing an outstanding admissions essay?
Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.
What's wrong with this teacher's comments? A Pasadena HS teacher circulated a letter with his complaint that African American students at the school are the reason for bad behavior and low test scores. He's now suspended...rightly? More inside...hoping to keep this civil, too...(thanks to Jim Romenesko)
The Incarceration Atlas. Everyone's probably familiar with the usual stat that America has the world's highest rate of incarceration, but there are some other pretty interesting numbers here too, touching on some Metafilter favorites - race, education and drugs. (more inside...)
Welcome back, state's rights. As if Dubya's comments following his "ethnic" Cabinet appointments wasn't enough retrograde logic -- roughly: if blacks and hispanics (would only?) work hard and make the right choices in life -- he's now using language that has been used to mask agendas based on race from before the Civil War through the fight against integration. And it looks like that fight ain't over, if you read "states rights" in today's context to mean the right to spend public funds on getting (primarily) white kids out of (primarily) black schools.