Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here at the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line. I pray you, then,...
I had never heard of this book until last night, when I saw a reference to it in Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy. And then less than 12 hours later, I'm seeing this Facebook post about it. I think I need to read it.
Read some of his words for a focus course on the Harlem reneseance. So moving! Still can’t spell though.
Second-best reason to do this: In the four years since I retired from homeschooling and began working full-time, I've apparently forgotten my library card number! I used to practically be able to recite it backwards in my sleep. Card retrieved from wallet, number typed into library website, book requested, card number once again imprinted on brain, empty-nest bucket list reading soon to commence.
Yay! A book to discuss with (not my kidlets) that is not a romance! Whoot!
Yes!! I’m reading that with my 9th grader this year for American history anyway. Good stuff, Ms. Susan Wise Bauer, thank you. Juneteenth. ❤️❤️👌🏾
Oh Boy! I have long wanted to work with you more directly, at a slow pace. That is due to keeping busy with many other projects you have inspired. Reading the Iliad now, with an ideal in person book club of classical literature lovers. About 10 adults who are interested in Greek literature, a great group! No problem to fit in this book too.
Wonderful! I have not read that book in years!
Ordered my copy from the library, thank you for doing this...
I have never done a book club before! A month to read - the same month that leads to my daughter's wedding. Perfect! 🙂
I am totally in!
I'm in. It's been on my stack for a while now.
I love this! Yes, this sounds like a wonderful tradition.
I super duper love all the parts of this idea!
I cannot believe this is real! So excited.
Wow. I am so excited to see this.
I am looking forward to this.
Heather I thought this might be a book or book club that you would be interested in.
"For VaiVai and many other black homeschoolers, seizing control of their children’s schooling is an act of affirmation—a means of liberating themselves from the systemic racism embedded in so many of today’s schools and continuing the campaign for educational independence launched by their ancestors more than a century ago. In doing so, many are channeling an often overlooked history of black learning in America that’s rooted in liberation from enslavement. When seen in this light, the modern black homeschooling movement is evocative of African Americans’ generations-long struggle to change their children’s destiny through education—and to do so themselves...
"...[I]n opting to homeschool, the parents weren’t necessarily seeking to shelter their children from a learning environment they believed deliberately disenfranchised black kids. They had simply accepted what they see as the unfortunate reality of the country’s public-education system: one comprising well-intended schools that are crippled by America’s racist legacy. To liberate their children from this trap, they were performing an act of extreme self-reliance—taking it upon themselves to provide them an education that was more personal, more engaging, and more anchored in black self-discovery. 'Nobody [in my study] bashed public schools as an institution,' Fields-Smith said. But 'how long do you try to stay in there … before you realize time is wasting [and] you’ve got to make a change?'”
I read the article, am part of the movement, and found myself nodding while reading. I am a former classroom teacher and saw many of the racial disparities in education up close. In fact, I began considering homeschooling while I was teaching, and before I even had any children of my own. During my time as a teacher, I worked in magnets, charters, urban, and suburban districts. One of the biggest misconceptions is that urban schools are the only ones that fail Black children. Nope! It happens in suburban schools as well, and even in private schools. In junior high, I attended a suburban middle school where I was one of 2 faces of color out of hundreds of students. I was harassed on a near daily basis by students, and received a rather icy reception from teachers and administrators. that was in the 90s, but this still happens today. My son was in preschool when racial microaggressions started from his teacher. So why does the article focus on race? Because race still matters for many of us. It irritates me a bit that many people do not understand this, or even attempt to empathize. We're not making this up. What even would be the benefit of doing such a thing?
I think it sounds like they homeschool for the same reasons that many, of not most, people choose to homeschool. But, some someone had to make it an issue of race. If you take those statements out, or those factors are removed from this story, this family is very much like 90% of homeschooling families. Don’t understand why racial issues had to be the focal point of the story. How about congratulations to ALL families who take control and exercise their rights in choosing to educate their own kids due to the messed up world and failing education system.
I have to criticize the turn the article took in regards to the concern of black children and the unknown of how successful homeschooling could be for them. This is the problem people! The journalist worded that in a way that made it sound like the outcome of homeschooling could be different for black kids than white kids. When I first started reading it I was so inspired. I believe homeschooling is the answer to the huge problems in public education for the vast majority of those parents who decide to undertake it. Whatever their race.
I agree with Callie above. They are homeschooling for universal reasons- to break out of the system. I do believe the system is broken for many reasons. However, I also believe that the majority of the failure in schools today comes from a break down in the home before they ever get to school.
I am glad this mother values her children and their education. Not all do.
I am thrilled to hear these stories of parents taking their children’s education into their own hands just as I chose to do. I can’t help but think of the many minority children who are not so lucky and must deal with urban school systems that consistently fail them. Also, there is a cost to all of us when schools don’t do an adequate job of including the contributions and stories of all parts of our society.
I so appreciate your posts. I would never have felt as free to share my thoughts on other homeschooling related pages. The conversation thus far has been encouraging. Also, I just figured out how to comment from my personal page 😉
Self determination is a great place to start. As she and others who are homeschooling for the same or similar reasons continue to journey in homeschooling, they will begin to grapple with other ultimate issues or questions. Their homeschooling journey and lives will be enriched and broadened because of it. I welcome them to the path.
I am white. My children are bi-racial, so many people would see them as black. Racial issues ARE part of why I chose to homeschool them. It wasn't the main driving force, but it was part of my thinking. I wanted to ensure they knew who they are first as they were growing up, before the world affixed any labels to them.
Race liberation is as good a reason as any, such as, liberation from group think, from the ‘1984’ attitude, poverty of mind, liberation of imagination, freedom to richly enjoy the creation, etc. As Anne Shirley said: ‘Oh Marilla, you miss so much’.
I wish everyone would stop using the color words that divide us. No one is black or white, we are all shades of one color, brown.
Beautiful! Those that are saying, "what does race have to do with it?" Aren't black and have no idea. It's easy as a white woman to blow it off or even roll my eyes and even get a little huffy. But I'm mixed (Hispanic). And after having conversations with my dark skinned dad, where he shared things that he had dealt with all his life- he then said two things that struck me:
1: I'm glad my children and grandchildren look white. They'll never have to deal with what I dealt with.
2: As much as I've been through, I know it's even harder for those with black skin.
My thoughts on race changed forever after that. I'd spent my life jealous of my father's gorgeous dark skin. It never occurred to me that it could be a burden. And to be clear (for world view reference) my father was conservative and Christian. He was sharing from personal experience alone.
My husband also works at an inner city school- at the alternative campus where the "bad" kids go. To say the system is broken is an understatement. These kids are growing up in a neighborhood that holds them back, often in homes that hurt them, and then go to a school system that institutionalizes them.
There is no easy solution, but the idea of parents empowering themselves and their children to rise above all of this is inspiring and amazing.
If I recall correctly, homeschooling also eliminates the performance chasm between black and white (and male/female as well) for kids. So simply by homeschooling, these parents elevate their children's potential to perform at their best.
Heather Anderson I wonder what your thoughts are on this? I know you’re super involved in making your public schools excellent.
Although I know it’s common to focus on your ethnicity‘s history with homeschool as she does here (Whites tend to do the same, teaching mostly western history, from what I’ve seen), we don’t do that, but the rest of the article is very personally accurate for my family.
I think anyone taking charge of their child’s education for whatever reason is a great thing 👍🏼
Do I appreciate the history articulated in this article? Yes. Do I love seeing a different face of the homeschooling movement? Yes. Am I all for taking charge of your kid's education? Absolutely. Do I agree with the racial narrative woven throughout the article? No. Do I agree with the interpretation of system racism and seeing race as THE the most important issue in everything? No. Do I believe idolizing race brings true reform and racial reconciliation? No. As a mama of a black child, attempting to parent and homeschool my child in a racially-charged culture, am I going to teach her a different cultural narrative? Of course.
Our state specifically took out the homeschool option in the School Choice Debate so that the dollars (almost 9k per student) following the students wouldn’t tempt Black Flight from poor performing schools.
Teachers and Administrators seem to “know best”, and the student is deemed proficient when testing scores raise to the 30% level on Standardized testing.
Spending on The Homeschool Option was also taken out of the 529 opportunity.
im protecting my white kids from the American education system so I can certainly see even more reasons for black families to choose homeschooling 🙂
Did everyone forget Marva Collins?
Theresa, I think the comments here would interest you, even though your kids are in a "building school."
I can see where some would think Black homeschooling is a slap to those who fought segregation in public schools. But clearly desegregation isn’t enough. Simply being in a classroom doesn’t guarantee a Black child will receive the same education or treatment as a White child. So, if the system isn’t meeting your needs, change it or leave it. Black people have not been listened to or heard in this county. I applaud the parents who’ve had enough of it and are taking control of their children’s education. It is extremely empowering for Black children to see their parents take a stand on their behalf and make the changes that are needed to ensure the child has all the tools needed to succeed in life.
This articles starts by telling us about a home schooling mother in Baltimore. Baltimore is a city that has been run by Mayors of the left wing "progressives" of the Democratic party since 1967. Fifty years of Democrats. Rather than blame the problems in schools on these failures of the leadership of the City of Baltimore the author blames "racism." That seems to be the typical scapegoat to blame when we have Democrats in power who've only made things worse. Blame racists. Baltimore City school system spends $17,000 per pupil per year on public schools, more than twice the national average, and has nothing to show for it but high drop out rates, low SAT scores and a $60 million dollar school funding deficit. Public school choice hardly exists and Maryland (Run by Democrat governors since 1969 except for one Republican) has very restrictive laws when it comes to charter schools. The teachers unions in MD are some of the most powerful in the nation and do not support charters or school choice. Want to change to a better school if you live in Baltimore? Teachers Unions say no. Business taxes, property taxes and income taxes in Baltimore are extremely high compared to similar sized cities. Baltimore raised property taxes 21 times between 1950 and 1985. Middle class blacks and whites fled to the suburbs. The city leadership has a history of corruption and so does the police force (where'd all that tax money go anyway?). Democrats have had half a century to lead a city that had lost its industry and they've only brought Baltimore down, (and all of those Democrats were not white "racists") 50 years of "progressivism" and big government has brought Baltimore to its knees. A person collecting welfare in Baltimore can take in more than $35,000 in benefits. In 1960 Baltimore had a 10% poverty rate. Today almost a quarter of the population in Baltimore lives in poverty. Today almost 60% of Baltimore households are single parents. 2/3 of births are to single mothers. I resent that this article pegs the problem with public schools in Baltimore on "racism." The first sentence should read: "Racial inequality in Baltimore’s public schools is in part the byproduct of long-standing corruption by the Democrats who have been in power for the last 50 years. "
Susannah Smith-You might find this interesting.
Kristina Nell- this might interest you.
Compulsory Schooling has always been about forcing someone to learn something that isn't about their own beliefs or thoughts. Here in the states the first compulsory laws were enacted right after the Civil War. Not a coicidence. It was just about as much about indoctrinating everyone to one way of thinking as it claimed to be about teaching slaves who were now free but without education and therefore unable to work or new immigrants English.
I don't care what someone wants to teach their child. It does benefit any child to regularly be around others of different backgrounds and experiences. Assuming someone is disadvantaged or advantaged by their race is racist in itself.
"[H]e and other leaders passed resolutions that tied Southern Baptists’ belief in the Bible’s inerrancy directly to a ban on female pastors and the teaching that women should be submissive to their husbands." Folks, these things are not unrelated. https://t.co/BQwSD49gSh
Spent the weekend at a gathering of academic directors for the Clemente Course--an amazing nonprofit that offers humanities education (and college credits) to adults who are homeless and in challenging situations. (I'm on the board.) Have a look...https://t.co/9ABQi5NUCW