I hope the BPN board doesn't get up-set with me for posting this.
This is a very long essay but it's worth the read. I only copied & pasted certain points, the essay is very long. I pasted the web address of the whole essay at the bottom of the page.
"What it's Like to Teach Black Students?"
After you read this essay, I hope you'll post your thoughts on what if any implications you believe this has for what we should do differently to better serve the needs of African-American kids, their non-African-American classmates, and in turn, the nation as a whole.
I have noticed when reading about black educational problems is the blame is always placed on the teachers and school. However, when discussing white and Asian achievement there is almost never a mention of the quality of teachers and schools which results in the achievement of Whites and Asians.
For decades, the country has been
lamenting the poor academic performance
of blacks and there is much to
lament. There is no question, however,
that many blacks come to school with a
serious handicap that is not their fault.
At home they have learned a dialect that
is almost a different language. Blacks
not only mispronounce words; their
grammar is often wrong. When a black
wants to ask, “Where is the bathroom?”
he may actually say “Whar da badroom
be?” Grammatically, this is the equivalent
of “Where the bathroom is?” And
this is the way they speak in high school.
Students write the way they speak, so
this is the language that shows up in
Most of the blacks I taught simply
had no interest in academic subjects. I
taught history, and students would often
say they didn’t want to do an assignment
or they didn’t like history because it was
all about white people. Of course, this
was “diversity” history, in which every
cowboy’s black cook got a special page
on how he contributed to winning the
West, but black children still found it
inadequate. So I would throw up my
hands and assign them a project on a
real, historical black person. My favorite
was Marcus Garvey. They had never
heard of him, and I would tell them to
research him, but they never did. They
didn’t care and they didn’t want to do
Anyone who teaches blacks soon
learns that they have a completely different
view of government from whites.
Once I decided to fill 25 minutes by
having students write about one thing
the government should do to improve
America. I gave this question to three
classes totaling about 100 students,
approximately 80 of whom were black.
My few white students came back with
generally “conservative” ideas. “We
need to cut off people who don’t work,”
was the most common suggestion.
Nearly every black gave a variation on
the theme of “We need more government
My students had only the vaguest
notion of who pays for government
services. For them, it was like a magical
piggy bank that never goes empty. One
black girl was exhorting the class on
the need for more social services and I
kept trying to explain that people, real
live people, are taxed for the money to
pay for those services. “Yeah, it come
from whites,” she finally said. “They
“Many black people make over
$50,000 dollars a year and you would
also be taking away from your own
people,” I said.
She had an answer to that: “Dey
half breed.” The class agreed. I let the
Many black girls are perfectly happy
to be welfare queens. On career day, one
girl explained to the class that she was
going to have lots of children and get fat
checks from the government. No one in
the class seemed to have any objection
to this career choice.
Surprising attitudes can come out in
class discussion. We were talking about
the crimes committed in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina, and I brought up the
rape of a young girl in the bathroom of
the Superdome. A majority of my students
believed this was a horrible crime
but a few took it lightly. One black boy
spoke up without raising his hand: “Dat
no big deal. They thought they is gonna
die so they figured they have some fun.
Dey jus’ wanna have a fun time; you
know what I’m sayin’?” A few black
heads nodded in agreement.
My department head once asked all
the teachers to get a response from all
students to the following question: “Do
you think it is okay to break the law if it
will benefit you greatly?” By then, I had
been teaching for a while and was not
surprised by answers that left a young,
liberal, white woman colleague aghast.
“Yeah” was the favorite answer. As one
student explained, “Get dat green.”
There is a level of conformity among
blacks that whites would find hard to
believe. They like one kind
of music: rap. They will
vote for one political party:
Democrat. They dance
one way, speak one way,
are loud the same way,
and fail their exams in the
same way. Of course, there
are exceptions but they
Whites are different.
Some like country music,
others heavy metal, some
prefer pop, and still others,
God forbid, enjoy rap music. They have
different associations, groups, almost
ideologies. There are jocks, nerds,
preppies, and hunters. Blacks are all—
well—black, and they are quick to let
other blacks know when they deviate
from the norm.
One might object that there are important
group differences among blacks that a white man simply cannot detect. I
have done my best to find them, but so
far as I can tell, they dress the same, talk
the same, think the same. Certainly, they
form rival groups, but the groups are not
different in any discernible way. There
simply are no groups of blacks that are
as distinctly different from each other
as white “nerds,” “hunters,” or “Goths,”
How the world looks to blacks
For the whole essay click>http://martynemko.blogspot.com/2009/06/white-teacher-speaks-out-wha...
After you read the essay do you think the NABSE- National Alliance of Black School Educators would find this essay a lil' look in the mirror, so to speak?http://www.nabse.org/index.html
or would the National Association of Black Journalists print something like this? http://www.nabj.org/conventions/2009/index_redirect.html