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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: It goes deeper than that
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=30834&mesg_id=30864
30864, RE: It goes deeper than that
Posted by Nettrice, Thu May-12-05 11:37 AM
>I believe there ARE voices within academia that subvert the
>traditional canon, but indeed their faculties are marginalised
>(even scoffed at) both within and outside the university
>system. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I now feel embarrassed
>telling people I studied culture at university.

Don't be embarrassed. It's the faculty who are unwilling to recognize this who should be embarrassed.

>>40+ years of conditioning that starts when kids first enter
>>the outside world, as students. This world gets larger as
>>grow but not the first lessons.
>I accept this. There is always going to be a certain
>disparity. However, are black males and white males (for
>example) not conditioned in similar ways, in terms of class
>and gender?

The message is similar but how we receive it, how it affects and influences our p.o.v. is very different. Something worth remembering (for the rest of my life) happened to me in the 1st and 2nd grades. I rebelled. Now, I did not strike a teacher or disrupt the class. I went to my mother and she empowered me in her way to act on what I perceived as injustice in the school/classroom. The first time she came to the school and took care of it. I noticed how the teacher's interaction with me changed. The next time I protested right in front of the school. I barely remember the details but I can recall that the administrators told me I was wrong and I disagreed. I remember my mother coming to see what was up and leaving me where I lay (in the street) to continue my protest. I was protesting the teacher's methods. The next day I cut classes and soon I was transferred. I never forgot being a scared little kid and feeling empowered to do something about my education. Unfortunately, this is not the case for so many Black kids.

>How much significance is there (or ought there be)
>in the conditioning between different colours?

The one thing I was not aware of back then was racism. I knew I was a smart Black girl who loved to draw but I did not know about racism. I just knew something was wrong. The teachers were being unfair to me, there was something wrong with seeing Jane run, and I didn't understand what was going on. I knew I had to act. My mother's action (or inaction) when I rebelled in the early years was different from her peers. My mother was often criticized for her methods but we continued to excel...and stand up for ourselves in class and later in our work. Rebellion was wrong. The behavior was punished and soon kids just started getting along...but at what cost? That is why I always bring up the pygmalion effect or self-fufilling prophecy because at some point kids begin to adjust their behavior to meet a certain expectation.

It was not easy for me or my sister and there were consequences for our actions as far as getting acceptance and support. All kids want to belong and be rewarded. Teachers often play a game that only creates or maintains divisions later on. This is supported by many parents who came out of the same system as the teachers. IMHO the whole system needs an overhaul but especially how Black children and students are treated in the classroom...or at home.

>>people have to deal with the divisions and be willing to
>>recognize privilege of the lack of that AND how it effects
>>their views.
>You are optimistic. How do you foresee change?

I am optimistic and I have the patience of Job. :) We are in the midst of a third regulatory phase in telecommunications, in the midst of a war and economic draft, and an overhaul in education precipitated by government (not local or state) intervention (and funding). Something has to give and soon! I prefer to think that people will wake up and take action. I have always been an optimist. I believe in true democracy, not what the government calls freedom. Change is inevitable. People can be taught or shown how to be proactive but it takes a concerted effort.