Black Teachers on Teaching: A Collection of Oral Histories
By Michelle Foster
The type of education advocated in this reading is one of prejudice in which blacks were taught to follow instead of being taught to lead. A policy of “Separate but equal” schooling and southern laws mandated that black teachers could only teach in segregated schools. Black teachers were looked upon by whites as not capable of teaching their child only other blacks. They did not learn how to think critically in the nineteenth century and so they were taken advantage of. Leroy Lovelace, a retired high school teacher writes “When a people can think critically, they can change things. They are less likely to be taken advantage of and more likely to be able to avoid the traps that others set for us…”
This type of education is not relevant for the urban classroom as we can see today more blacks are moving up the ladder and are capable of holding leadership positions. It is time to change the mind set of black children from one of a follower to being just as capable (as the whites) as any other person on this earth.
I like this reading because it is history and can serve to motivate or propel the present and future blacks into becoming proactive about what whites think of us receiving equal educational opportunities. It opens your eyes to see there are still residue of the past that exist in today’s society and therefore one should not be naïve of the facts. Due to this race prejudice in the United States today many blacks cannot receive a decent education in white institutions. Negroes should be educated and not admitted and tolerated.
Still Separate, Still Unequal: Americas Educational Apartheid
The type of education that is being advocated in this reading is racial isolation and unequal education. According to statics in the academic year of 2002 – 2003 in Chicago 87 percent of the students enrolled in public schools was black or Hispanic; less than 10 percent of the children in the schools were white. The ratios of the percentage of blacks and Hispanics to whites were also seen in many other states across America. In New York City, nearly three quarters of the students were black or Hispanic. This clearly shows that whites did not want their children been educated together with other ethnic groups. Thus the poor children were becoming isolated and segregated demonstrating not all are entitled to equal education. Hence the inequality in public education surface, those with the money are able to afford certain programs while blacks cannot afford. The article gives many examples one of which the white schools were being compared to black schools. The white schools will receive new things while the black schools got used things. One child in the reading puts it this way – “You have all the things and we do not”. Higher standards, expectations are repeatedly demanded of the urban principal and of teachers and students in their schools. While for the black schools far lower standards were expected.
This reading lets me know that segregation which existed in the eighteenth century and beyond is still a major issue in the educational system in the twenty first century. However I think this type of education is not relevant for today. Why? - Because many of the younger generation in mainstream America are beginning to cross cultural and racial barriers. And if America’s education system is moving in the direction of equality for all there must be an end to this apartheid. I guess the question is will it ever end. The other thing is raising the bar of expectation and standards for blacks expect them to perform at the same high level as their white counterparts.