A black father/principal/ solider shares his story:
As a professional educator, I find it hard being the father of two black boys. I listen to the rhetoric of some of the teachers who work for me and consistently try to explain the value of building relationships.
We discuss the concerns, but many are clueless as to how to engage young black males. As a principal, I do not share with my son's teachers that I have twenty years of educational experience. I am alarmed at how they try to belittle or play down the capabilities of my two boys. When I meet with them, they are alarmed at how much I really know and what's occurring in their classrooms.
Unfortunately, I had to live through the stereotypes and unequal education practices found in most schools across the country. Teachers feel that all black boys come from broken homes with un-educated parents. This is a major concern because it’s allowing the achievement gap to increase. If we could only be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.
Love and building relationships is the only way to close the achievement gap and move our country closer to an equitable place. I will continue to teach my boys to be respectful, although they don't always get the same reciprocated to them. My job is to defend them when they are right and fight the battles that are beyond their understanding. Parents of color have to prepare their children for the American dream that can be abruptly taken away by a biased and unjust society. As a soldier, I fight for the freedom that is not always awarded to my family, community or race. People of color are under attack unless it is election time. Love is the key to solving all societies problems. Live by the golden rule and make the world a better place.
As black parents, we don’t have the luxury of being optimistic because we see how White Privilege affects our students, but most importantly our own biological black sons.
What are you as a teacher doing to prevent this?
A black teacher, lawyer, librarian shares her story:
After reading this article (https://www.newschannel5.com/news/mnps-teacher-placed-on-leave-for-homework-about-the-n-word?fbclid=IwAR2_fUxY3K3LSOS55JLBjGVXDjzmoUt7J8gm7lvPAZ-VVJqEMYCAxWIr0tI) it took me to a place that I have been trying to climb out of since last year. That place was a place Blacks and Browns have to hold their heads up high; despite the many micro-aggressions faced; the discrimination that everyone sees, and it typically boils down to White Privilege which affects our Black and Brown boys.
I see the looks that my Black son and his friends received by the majority because of their stance, their haircuts, etc. I remind him of how to behave; to include, sit in the front, look individuals in the eyes, and do not drive your car with the music blasting. I have also shared with him how my colleagues; his teachers view him. It is sad. His teachers do not take into account the history of his ancestors, various learning styles to connect with him, but these same White teachers become uncomfortable when they must encounter information about coon-cooking, lynching, and even how the NAACP buried the N-word. This matters because to teach novels, to teach American History, to teach culturally diverse students, you must be open-minded to learn about your students.
I recently went to the movies to see Harriet. At the end of the movie, a White woman asked if I was ok. I shared I was, but without warning and without my care, she shared that she was not. She bent down to hug me. She put her issues on me. She put her hands on me. She touched me without even asking if I were ok with that. This reminds me of many recent instances with our minority males in the schoolhouse. For example,https://face2faceafrica.com/article/it-was-too-tight-a-12-year-old-black-student-suspended-from-school-for-hugging-a-white-teacher.
As parents of Black boys, we have to remind them of so many things. We have to prepare our Black boys for situations that White parents will never have to prepare their kids for. In addition to reminding him of classroom etiquette, I must also remind him what to do if he dates a White girl. For example, if you decide to go "steady" with a White girl, you are expected to tell your police officer dad and your lawyer/teacher mom. Why? Because racial issues are real. Just as the woman could touch me without my permission, my Black son does not have that privilege He is 6’2 and just the way that he dresses might make her yell .... and then what would happen? https://www2.ljworld.com/news/public-safety/2019/jan/16/man-convicted-of-raping-teen-he-met-at-lawrence-college-bar-wont-face-new-trial-on-other-rape-charge/ Especially if it is an all- white jury and the facts just do not add up.
About the authors:
Charles Carter And Kiera Vargas are presenters for ePIFHany, LLC on topics ranging from:
“Self-efficacy in classroom”to “teaching our Black males through an objective lens.”
They both also give presentations to students to help them learn about the micro aggressions of being a minority in the classroom.
Interested in booking them: EPIFhanyshappen@gmail.com