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This education as the institution of slavery larger and as black resistance to their condition grows stronger restrictions were placed on educating blacks particularly in the southern slave holding states it eventually became illegal to teach a slave to read or write in the States. This did not stifle black people's desire for knowledge however it only increased it. Slaves devised a host of ways to obtain an education. Some influential white men talk blacks at their own expense and risk. Many slaves learn from the white children who may accompany to school. Many learn by Contac and observation while attending ministers and other officials whose work often lay open to their servants. Others sneaked into back alleyways to private teachers or attended sacred schools
Well February is Black History Month. Education has always been a very important part of our development in this country. And so for the next two weeks say rather is going to be looking at. Educational institutions in this area and in this country what they're supposed to do what they are doing what we can expect from them. We'll be talking to a variety of educators not about the paper tiger issues of bussing or not bussing but about the things that mean something very important to us as a people when we have to examine the methods which transmit our values and our ethics to our children to the future. As a black person. What do you feel is wrong with the educational system today. The teachers usually doesn't understand what the kids are talking about. I did try to explain it to
them before. I want a point of view about what I have to say. Right now the education system is too rigid and doesn't allow for. Specifically blacks to expand in areas now that they might be better and more I no reading books and taking tests you know that's. Not what's going to get them over you know the outside world. Let's talk for a minute about this business though who can and cannot learn. Is it is there across the board kind of problems in education that deal not just with black or minority children but with all children. Well I think at a certain stage in any child's educational career does school and by school I mean the teachers the principals the counselors the administrators those people who the child's parent turns that child over to at some point they decide which road that child is going to take regardless
of what the school says the school might say well your child will choose when he gets into high school what he is if he wants to take vocational technical training or if he wants to take an academic course and pursue a higher education in the college or university thereafter. But the whole process starts at a much earlier stage in first to second grade when the teacher asked the child what are you going to be. And we'll no I don't think you should be there. Why don't you be there. So why don't you be there at that time with the teacher really saying to the child will you know what you can learn what you can take in this limited as opposed to what you cannot learn and what you cannot take in. The skills which are given to children in those very act the inception of education. Kindergarten grade one great to learn how to read. They start learning how to write and they start learning calculation or the beginning Big beginning arithmetic.
The teacher right at that point must know. About the child who the child is what kind of lifestyle the child needs and by that I mean the types of things that the child does on the weekend at night what the child's parents are all about. So he will know what the child how the child can take that information that he's given the child and manipulate it in you know in his own words in his own style his own language to help him internalize that information. OK. Once the child grasps that information then he can at some later time is able to choose his own role. But if that does not happen very often it doesn't happen. Because the teacher doesn't know enough about the child what the child is about and then the first thing many teachers say is where the child is and learn that the child is a non-breeder the child won't do this and the child won't do that for years. And what happens if you're a parent and your child is in that situation. What happens
if the schools reinforce that this is making your child feel that he can't learn and he's kind of at home not learning. You see this sort of thing building. What do you do. Well in the end in the present setup there are agencies or. Staffs which can be consulted. Who can be consulted and they can do various kinds of tests etc. etc. to determine whether or not that child has a learning problem. Now a learning problem does not mean that a child cannot learn. It might mean that a child would have to learn at a slower pace or that a child might have to be in another environment in order to achieve. But it certainly does not mean that a child cannot learn. You have people talking about hyperactive children and hyper active you know moving around and around bouncing around. And the system is not designed to deal with that situation say in the regular classroom setup. So you have 30 children in a classroom you have a hyperactive child. Now this child does not learn
because the teacher doesn't have the time to devote to this particular child. But in line with what brother John was saying there was a study done was with some groupings of students. And these were students who had been classified as low achievers. Now what they did they told the instructor that the students were high achievers. Her whole attitude toward the children change such that they didn't become high achievers. All right. So that says a lot about it. If a child has been labeled something that child will remain that in the minds of the educators and in the in the mind of the parents but it is incumbent upon the parents to go out to determine whether or not the assessment of the child is really a valid assessment if there is a problem. Is there any way to approach that problem so that this child will not be deprived of a certain certain amount of education you know. Right Round Robin Williams at the Institute of Black Studies in Washington
University in St. Louis Missouri. That is what he's been telling the educators. He is very anti intelligence test which is used and it is used as a discriminator amongst those who can learn and those who cannot learn. So he devised what's commonly called the beaches the black intelligence test of cultural homogeneity. And this test is based specifically on the lifestyle and the culture of black people and. Give them to the average black adult or child given the test will. You know score relatively high or will you know he will have successful apartment performance with the person who is non-black and unarmed black will tend to school lower. And the purpose is just to show that many of discriminating factors saying that all the discriminating instruments IQ tests for example saying those who can learn as opposed to those who
cannot learn are really a cultural thing which goes back to what we were talking about earlier. Now what can the parent do. Parents know their children better than anyone else parents live with their children 24 hours a day. Parents raise their children. The other parent is the one who if. Anyone is telling the parent well your child cannot do this. Your child doesn't do that to your child just cannot learn that your child is going to have problems. The first thing the parent must do is to sit down himself or herself and really think seriously and hard and long about the child. It's a frustrating day but it's something that you know when we're talking about education and what the child can learn they cannot learn. We're really trying to determine what this child is going to do. So it is a frustrating thing but the parent must really sit down and wait really with his child or her child. If. The parent for whatever reason thinks that the child has been given a wrong assessment or mis assess if the parent
is obligated to try to seek other educational of educators and to seek their opinions and their advice. Let me ask you this from your stance. Have you seen children been in your classrooms. Why have you observe them in other kinds of situations. Children who have had learning problems who have had educational problems and have gotten into a whole nother environment for one reason or another. Last Yes high school junior high I mean this is real life which is not just in books yet it happens all the time because one of the peculiar things of especially about large urban centers large urban centers are plagued with a situation where in the various communities people from outside the communities come in to teach the children from the urban center. OK. And these people come in with preconceived ideas and notion about what the children can or cannot do. As such the kinds of demands which
would be made upon students are not made upon these say these urban centers students. So they are required just by by definition of the attitude of the instructor to stay in a certain niche or you will acquire a certain amount of knowledge taken out of that situation introduced to another person who has a totally different attitude and the child moves on and achieve a great deal more a great deal more academically. But in terms of just your personal opinion about yourself what you think about yourself. Oh I didn't know that I could do that. Like I'm I've been confronted with people who. When you ask them certain kinds of things they say oh I know that's wrong I know that's wrong. Immediately they assume that what they had to say was wrong as opposed to listening and you know given the situation and then let you respond to it they merely say I know that's wrong. That's right because they've been confronted with situations where they have been put down you know and I say maybe the role of again of parents who find
themselves in a situation where their child is is going to have unfavorable having an unfavorable experience in the school system is to carry some of that load yourself I suppose you see you know seek help where you can where you can go ahead and reinforce and encourage that ego. I mean I like children. They have to be enforced. And if the parent has no other option you just go and raise hell. The State Department's case in the local department of education until the child is resist a system that you have is built to produce losers. It's going to always produce losers brother John. You know these are people who are not white Anglo-Saxon people with money. So the system is designed to help. It's designed to help that no one group white Anglo-Saxon Protestants with money. And those are the people who are successful in the system because that's what it was designed to produce. And everybody anybody who deviates from that
norm is not going to learn in the system. So the whole system has to be changed to be the director of page Academy which is school a private school an alternative to the Boston Public School System. Why would you feel it necessary Angelica to have to provide an alternative term of educational services. Well I felt that there was a need to develop a school that was more inclusive of different age levels. Paige Academy has children from three months to eight years and each year we plan to add a grade so that we will eventually go up to sixth grade. And we have a big dream of someday becoming a senior. College also but we feel that it was important to develop some kind of a school where a child could grow from the very beginning of three months which is you know a really crucial time for children that they would be in a setting where. They could see what the children were doing who were
five years old and six years old and that brother sister kind of thing could be established beyond the family like we have three classrooms. We have an infant class a primary class in a junior class. And but they're not specifically labeled in terms of age groups it depends on where the child is and as to what class he'll be in. So a person who's in the junior class might be working with the infants for a couple of days if that's what they need to be doing at that time so that they can feed you know an infant or play with an infant and feel that sense of I'm somebody and I can help somebody else so that we felt that it was important to develop in our school that would allow for more flexibility and as well as demand academic excellence which is really what we want to see happen in our children I felt that I worked in a lot of different schools and a lot of times it became very custodial with the
child as was watched by an adult. And in a room with maybe some things to do but there was no real direction. But we feel that it's very important to offer a wide variety of direction and we use the Kwanzaa principles as our philosophy which is unit to collective work and responsibility cooperative economics faith purpose so that the children understand that. We have a purpose. We are something that we are doing and reason for doing it and we're going to do it cooperatively together so that each of us individually can achieve and become leaders which is what we're trying to create. Yes you are. Seven principles of Kwanzaa built on a value system. And why do you feel it's necessary to incorporate values moral and ethical values in the whole process of education. Well I feel that is important because a lot of times especially nowadays the world has become a dog eat dog everybody's out.
You know get ahead at the expense of hurting somebody else. Yes. That we felt it was really important to let us know that we have to work together to achieve a kind of world that we can benefit from. So that that whole ethical system of looking out for your brother and. And you know doing things because you have a specific reason for doing that just because I want to do them because it helps the collective. Even though in the Kwanzaa principles one of the principles which is purpose says you know you do have an individual purpose also. So it doesn't take away from your individual purpose but it combines that with a collective purpose so that you can incorporate other people's into your development of something good for us. So we felt that it was really important to do that and that and everything is based on that cooperative economics that teachers are paid the same thing it's not like the director gets paid more and the custodian gets paid less we get paid according to what we need and what what our needs of your family
has. You know you have two or three children you might need more than say brother who's worked in the school who's been up. So let's take into consideration everything we do is done cooperatively economically or every and every aspect of it so it's not like you know the director and most cases will get you know 15000 a teacher get fired. And you know we don't think that's fair. So that we had to do it all the way across the board. Washington is 71 percent black. Now the school system has a student population which is 95 percent black administrators 85 percent black teaching forces 86 percent black. The superintendent was black and still is black school board president was black still is Vice-Presidents black. And so it was a situation where we could at last create and implement a model that will educate all of the children of all of the people.
Yes and that's what I had hoped would happen. Yes I didn't. OK. At the present time what is the commitment of the D.C. community to the school system and to the school administration as opposed to when you were the top administrator and the superintendent of schools. Well while I was superintendent I had a widespread community support. Yeah the Washington Post conducted a survey on May the 11th of 1975 after my speech at HSA the African heritage Studies Association and my support was three to one. So that I had widespread support not only among black people but even among white people who felt that the school system was not servicing the needs of their children. You see the way the school system is structured now it is not compatible with the way children grow. I don't care what color they are white or black. Or whether they're rich or poor or. What good school system is is structured to
educate the child who is the norm. Yes. And in any given time that child may never be sitting in anybody's class say the children are different human beings are different. We grow at different rates according to different patterns at different times. We're ready to do things. No two children are like every human being is special and has special needs and has special biological clock that dictates when his body is ready to do whatever. And we know that children learn to walk at different ages they talk at different ages they learn to be toilet trained. Different ages they learn different they just see themselves at different ages and we accept this. But the moment children come to school we expect them to go into grades according to ages and learn the same thing at the same time with the same material for the same reasons with the same teachers in the same place. That's never going to happen. Right. You're right because you're right. And so the kinds of ideas that I had expressed
in the 120 day report yes were received with great enthusiasm not just by the black community but by the black community but also by members in the white community who felt that the school system was not service in their children because I really stand for education of all of the children of all of the people. And I don't think that's going to happen until we restructure what's going on in those schools. We've got to stop doing it the way we're doing it. Yes.
There appears to be a larger problem here and that is beyond the parents and the children. What happens in the classroom now. That's really where both of you operate. What I am are concerned about what what is preparing teachers to deal with with either a multiracial class. Or with any kind of class I mean I remember the time magazine article or why don't I read now. Right. Can't rise here. It's really laid it out. The problem of acquiring basic skills in English in this case by are not a proud love of children who've been in the city or in the black community is a problem which rages across the country on all educational levels all economic levels. These are children who are tested in private schools and public schools and when reading skills were not being
taught leads leads me to believe that something has fallen apart in one way when we're in the business of training. Training teachers. And I think it's something that's quite certain and we feel we feel that we should do you know very specifically because of another kind of problems attendant problems our children have had to deal with. What do you what do you have to say about how the process. Of teacher education. Is there one we're acting. I don't think he's using. I know that any prospective teacher goes through take certain courses which ultimately leads lead him to. What is called his own philosophy. Of education. And that's the philosophy by which he operates in the classroom be it
very very very rigid or be more relaxed. Some teachers come into the whole deal the feel by the back door and by the background I mean the thing is a put down what they said in other fields rather than feel quote education unquote. And it doesn't mean that they are less. Of a teacher. Or it doesn't mean that they are less qualified. But anyway they have a variety of avenues about which one can get into the field of teaching here in America. And I think it depends on the school system and the community at large that type of type of person comes in. But I don't think we really we you never really teach someone how to teach. And in addition to that you never really teach a person to show the person you give the person all the information that they ultimately have to hook them up in their man. And if they don't put that up in their mind then they haven't learned it. OK. So
what happens. That's why I say it earlier. You have to when you try when someone is trying to learn something you have to associate something they already know with their foot which is new. OK. If you don't do that then you're never going to give them all of the information required for them to put it together in order to learn it. So an example of that is the situation with I guess you heard of the Foxfire books. Well there was a young man who had been educated at Yale or Harvard and he with an education and he was sent to the Appalachian Mountains. And while there he found that the students were not motivated they were not interested et cetera et cetera and he was having many problems you know discipline problems and problems with students performing in the class. And by way of punishment he decided to tell them you would be expelled from the class and you wouldn't be able to come back. But when he really realistically thought about it he'd be glad to be expelled from the class himself you know because nothing was happening.
And so he began to think about the situation and he decided. That what he would do to encourage the students was to study the community from whence they came themselves. OK. And and the children discovered they didn't know a lot about their own people and by way of that he was able to talk about writing. He was able to talk about math in photography and just a whole host of skills now. So being in the university you are trained and you do take courses. OK. What happens here is that we are so hung up with who is an expert and who is not an expert. So if Professor crackerjacks. Or Mr. Smith as Coca-Cola tells you that you do it in this manner. Then a lot of people rigidly. Go along that line. But one of the things which I think a lot of us have been deprived of is this whole thinking process is it is not working. That means that another system must be devised
and you must use another approach. Now in many cases say teachers are locked into a situation because when they come into the classroom they tell you what literature a book you're going to use what English book you're going to use what math book you're going to use in light of that. Teachers. Have to use their own processes to develop something that would be realistic. In terms of an educational tool for the children and the teacher. OK. In using any materials whether they were chosen by the teacher or they were chosen for the teacher and given to the teacher the teacher has to understand who he's working with and what it's all about in this multi ethnic. Society in America. If a teacher is working with a group of students who come from a different background whose whole concept of reality is different because that's what we are ultimately talking about. If their concept of reality is different from the teachers and the teacher does not know that and is
not prepared to use their concept of reality in order to give them. And in order to help them develop the skills they are trying to learn they are not going to do it. They are clearly are not going to do it. Let me give you an example teach reading it Roxbury Community College and adults and you know when you teach reading you're teaching people to associate sounds which come out of the mouth with these symbols which come on paper and you just try to teach somebody that. This sound d looks a certain way it has a line and like little fat body to it. OK if I use definition. As an example to demonstrate that beginning sound it would be a lot more difficult for them to understand and to associate the sound. With. What it looks like on paper than if I use the station which is a place that everyone knows about because it's about three blocks from school and about half the students go through the station to get to the school. So what I'm talking
about the students concept to reality if you can give them the information they put that information together through the archives of reality they will grasp with the universal skill and that's what we're talking about. We're talking about universal skills which help us become more literate to our own reality which helps us to discover truth through our own background and what is real to us. So devastation is real to Sylvia and you and me but she certainly isn't sitting with us. Right. And I think back to your original question what is at fault for the lack of learning in children. So we have to to that I think there's a mixture. We have to talk about the teachers. We have to talk about the academic setting itself. Like large classes and just not having just the patience or the desire to impart
the kinds of information that's necessary. Also we have to know that. The teachers that are taught to believe that they teach. But my experience is that you learn more than you teach if you are in a classroom of children. And we encourage children to believe that what they have to say is valid and they have something to offer to the educational process within the classroom set up that situation. And these are things that. I can point that home but I'm very concerned that parents have some role to play in this whole situation because I don't like to think of parents being victims of this at this stage in time and of victims are these monolithic institutions that don't give you any kind of role to play. You see the mistakes are being made possible you think that maybe you're just not sure what and what you can do whatever kind of active member of the this thing and. Book as well these are things that are encouraging or trial and not
by encouraging the child you have to really know what the child is going through if you have a parent and you worked all afternoon down and family and you come home and your child goes to do just high school for example you know your child is taking is in the 11th grade or 10th 11th grade it's taken chemistry. Whether you know anything about chemistry or not you have to at least converse with the child on. Even if the child teaches you or is in the process of teaching you you have to converse with the child because you can innately tell if the child is picking up something. If the child is back picking up something I'm learning. So the parent has to stay with the child be involved. Are there any things specific things that you might advise a parent to do in seeking a school for his child or in helping to better the situation for his child. Well we want people who can observe our children and find out how our
children acquire knowledge. How does this child learn. What does he or she do in order to to reproduce an action or behavior or produce a behavior. We want people who can help us to decide what those things are so we can help our children. Yes ma'am. Do you think. Well let me ask you this. Why do we close. What about the children what the children say in the type of situation which you have described to us this afternoon also in the type of situation that you come from a predominantly black city with predominately black school system that's killing the children. Children want to learn about it. They want to learn. And if you can create a teaching learning environment where this happens the children will be happy and you won't have discipline. Yes ma'am. And you're saying this is cross-cultural. It includes all cultures all children all children all children. The school system doesn't fit all white children. Yes ma'am.
And until we realize that we will not produce the child this is there any ultimate aim or ultimate goal that each child is seeking or that the teachers are helping each child to realize. Well I think that we feel that most of our leaders are really creative and a lot of them are in prison and they're you know that's not where they're supposed to be because obviously their energies have been directed in the wrong way and their creativity has been going around ways that we feel that especially black children which is the plan. The majority of the children at this school are black. So it's open to all races. We feel that that we're trying to direct them to understand that they have they are scholars and we feel that we want to produce them more writers and and more people who are setting up new programs like the health education welfare program that's been going on fathers is not working obviously. So the new
programs need to be developed so we feel that we're going to try to develop the kind of attitude that people understand it is time for a change in and. These children will be have the ability and the faith in themselves to know that they can develop new kinds of models for a new world that you know we need to have so that they can function in a way that will be so detrimental and so much hurt and pain. So what do you think children can expect at the end of this whole process. It's obvious. I think it was an. I certainly think of Worth It is worth getting the basic skills because so much in life depends on our being able to manipulate them. When you graduate from high school the first thing is you should not expect that everything that you want to do you have to do it because what does a high school diploma say nothing except that you spent 12 years going
to an institution and you took certain courses which are supposed to ensure you are having gain certain skills and having developed certain concepts. And I think the truth of the matter is that you have go through four years of college and you can go through three additional years of a doctorate. Let's say two years of a Master's program plus three years of a doctor and come out of the end of that process only have to say the same thing that you spent X amount of time going through the system so I guess we're talking about something beyond what people do and they will do it. What's it like to think of education be it for me or anybody as a survival kind of a situation. OK. Now much of our thinking has been directed toward filling in an already existing kind that was set up but being the idealistic person I am I like to think that that education can be used to create certain kinds of situations too. OK.
You say that. We don't have enough plumbers then we will have plumbers and we will have electricians and we will have doctors and we will have lawyers to what and not a materialistic kind of an end but an end that bespeaks of survival that there are certain kinds of things that people need during the course of their lives that will enable them to move smoothly through our society and our education. Is the framework or the foundation upon which all of these other kinds of things happen. Because look that realistically I think everybody talks about survival skills say when you're talking about education when we look at American society today you have people who are being trained to be typeless which means that they earn a salary by way of being a secretary. You have people trained to become physicians. They are earning a salary
but more importantly you have people to to. Allocate particular jobs to in a particular society. I'd like to think that 1970s represents a developing kind of a process for us in terms of actual material kind of development. OK. And when I talk about material kind of developments I mean shaping up our institutions. OK. Shaping them up such that we can go on and move forward and become a self-sufficient. Kind of a people. So we're looking I think of education as. An addition to that kind of thing as being able to give our children the option to move in those directions. Maybe there's a high school diploma or a Ph.D. or whatever it is just gives you another option that allows you a few more areas you can begin to develop and that you can both satisfy I think the
self individual person. Let's say I can go over here I say it's a part of my personality and my character and my inside self that's that's rewarding because I'm going in this area. I know how to read or write how to write. I know how to handle mathematics whatever it is and can move in that kind of direction and can be part of a kind of growing society or be part of my society has some kind of contribution to make to it. I think that's a very necessary thing when any human being and be right for it is what it gets down to is all of the experiences from the completion of education all the experiences that one has had all of the skills that one has learned. Once he completes that process he is then able to take whichever road he wants to take. And we look at colleges being the
ideal in this society. But is it really because you really put this college give one nothing but additional information in many cases and then sometimes nothing. It doesn't give one anything to help him to decide which road he she is going to take. We need everything in a society we need all types of skills in the society to keep society going and for the development and the survival of the society. My one skill is one skill and you're one skill to together will allow each and every one of us to develop ourselves further to become better at providing that skill for the other two. So these are the types of things that we have we think about we should think about when we complete this whole process which is called formal education and we really should say at this point that there is that one never stops learning. So the whole process of education is continual from the chat time one is born. Even you know
to the time one goes back into the earth but we talk about formal education which is where one sits in a classroom of whatever type and is under the instruction of another. I think maybe. Maybe what's being said too is that sometimes that process sitting in that classroom full for let's say the first 12 years is not always rewarding for a variety of reasons. We've talked about some of them earlier. It may not always be rewarding and so I think maybe people need to be encouraged and need to to keep in some corner of the mind that this is not the end all be it's worth it to kind of stick with that because it does provide you with other kinds of avenues. Once you finished what you're perhaps more often. No it's not necessary. We know it's not always rewarding. The whole process of coming year the process that the baby goes through just being
born. If you look at the I think about the intense amount of pain that the baby experiences were you know if the baby could remember the pain that he went through he may not say that this whole process of living of being know on the face of the earth is rewarding. But what he does do is develop a discipline which allows him to experience vast amounts of pain and later you know age is at a later age and at the later stages in his life because he has a discipline and that's with education this form thing called formal education does you know to have to do 50 or 60 hours problems in the course of a week. You may not necessarily mean that the child of the student is going to like. This school called algebra and he may not even understand half the time because he's looking at an isolated subject which in actuality fits into the whole process of life the whole process of living. I was in college when I stood with geometry was all about.
The fact that if you don't. Know anything about Germans you're not going to have the type of buildings the type of housing that we have in the western world. So we're talking about specific. Isolated disciplines which come together in a world global picture in world in which come together and make for a society or a. Total process of living. And these are skills really these are the skills that all people have all around the globe. I mean they're kind of we're back to where we started this right. You know having lived say in in the particular environment that we have lived then I think it's important you know we talked about the role of parents and teachers et cetera et cetera. But I think it's important that I say community organizations and individual people began to really really address that whole issue of what happens at the at the end of high school. You know most of us have been
encouraged and induced to go to state colleges and universities. But I think that we don't have to be looking at some alternatives too which will provide us with the kinds of skills and the opportunity to move off into other directions. And I think that they even have to certainly be addressed because what what is really basically happening now is that you have the country over flooded with college degrees with not with no employment. So. And there are other areas which need to be delved into and I think that we are going to have to go out into the forefront. In terms of picking up those areas and being able to provide some expertise in those areas for the students so that they can ultimately become the personnel that will do it. Does this and how does it fit into the whole moral foundation of moral philosophy which the school has those same principles of Kwanzaa. That's a good question that people feel that because it goes up Sabah's use that you know that
it can only be black and that's our word. Back in Gaza Zibo talks a lot about things that are races that people can use and so that is not something that just black people can use the seven principles relate to a multicultural kind of attitude. So I don't feel that. It eliminates any race. It's just that we've taken that as a basis for developing what we feel is important as is the black ideology for the basis of that develop so that you know I think that you know just like people developed ideologies from Christopher Columbus was in the White House they were developing it from and goes outside the woods is a black ideology and does not let out any other kinds of people in and out. And our staff is multi-racial. We have people from you know different races on this day.
I suppose if this were an ideal situation an ideal world of our own and the ideal devising what we said earlier might might lead to the conclusion that we support the idea of black schools and a black community with black teachers because we have the advantage of our acquaintance with our own culture and being able to see that carried on in the school system of encouraging children to associate this associative learning. Associate what they already know with what skills we're trying to teach them. Aspas really perhaps if we talked to the founding fathers of American education I've ever said exactly the same thing which is why the blacks in their schools of course it is an ideal kind of situation and the fact of the matter is that most black children
in this country are not going to go to predominantly black schools. I mean in this this period and in our development we did at one time. We seem to find ourselves in a situation now in which we're not going to predominantly black schools. We seem to be on the short end of the stick. Clearly we're losing some of the advantages of associated learning. We're losing the advantages of having our children taught by black teachers. Many black ministers administrators found themselves out of a job in the South for example when schools were consolidated. So it's clear that there were there have been disadvantages for us and for our children. And I suppose we're in the position of dealing with now is. So what can we do. What can we do to to even reinstate or reinforce or re implement those things of
value. With the present present educational setting. What can we do and I think that's probably what we've been talking about this evening. This is where I see it in the first two stages when children from school to school learning those beginnings skills. It's so important for the parent to be very supportive of them and by being supportive of them know what they're doing in school. And if they have any problems try to help explain that information to them because the situation is such that many of the teachers who have multi ethnic classrooms don't really know what's going on in the minds of those other children do not know what is real to the children in those other cultures. So the parents have to really be tuned in to what's happening in the mother the father everybody who passed we can have to be tuned in at the later stages they should also. But at the later stages fourth fifth grade up the child
begins to take the responsibility for his own learning. For example the child is then reading and writing to learn as opposed to learning to read and learning to write and learning to manipulate numbers he's manipulating numbers you know for learning. So at that stage. You know 10 11 years on the child children really have to understand that they might be in a classroom where the teachers don't know what the teachers teach does not know that much about what goes on in the child's world. So whatever information is given out to him. The child has to be especially aware to try to find a similar situation which will explain that information through his own life maybe you know maybe that also. Yes that reinforces to the importance of community tutorial programs of situations
that community organizations have created for young people to reinforce their school situation to say well I'm not the parent I'm not the classroom but I'm something else as part of it as part of your community and maybe this is this is that idea of the community itself as an institution with a variety of arms of departments years can be brought to bear on a problem in this case. The problem is an educational one. And and perhaps then as community members who may not be parents themselves may not be teachers who may not be specifically plugged into the school system there's this other role we have via community organizations to make sure that they are strong and they function that they have proper funding in this time and no money that tutorial programs can tell you that. That something is happening to the class of poor students through
this you know is really wracking wracking period because I think it's a real responsibility to put on a child at that stage. You talking about that 19 year old stage. The whole responsibility of finding those kinds of two which will enable the child to understand those kind of things. I think it's important that that somehow that child is supplemented by way of a tutorial program or something because children all children. Have the expectation that they will slow as children do flow. And you usually get those kinds of that kind of information from your parents or from from from the teachers you know. And I think one of the roles that the community organizations play is that beyond just being sympathetic to a situation they can be empathetic and they have been empathetic and they have provided the children with the kinds of skills and the information that's necessary they give them that individual one to one
relationships which they don't necessarily get in the classroom situation. One of the things that has been most impressive to me having dealt with say teenagers and dealing with younger children 9 and 10 year olds and invariably the 9 and 10 year olds and just grabbing for knowledge grabbing for knowledge. But the teenagers. Something has happened to stifle the light. And at this particular juncture in my life I'm trying to determine and assess what happens because I suspect that these teenagers were bright and happy and really anxious to get information OK. And I cannot explain that other than you know children are no longer children and teachers began to look at you in a different kind of a way so that it's imperative and take it for teenagers that we give them the kind of inspiration the kind of real knowledge real knowledge and we have to make our children thoroughly understand. What the situation is and why the situation is and that we must continue in spite
of the situation. I think it's very important that we do. She raised some big issues. One is that mandated. It is difficult for a child to do that all on his own to internalize a unit which is universal universal language universal skills in words the communication into his own reality. But it's up to the parents and the community the community must help at that stage because it's in that community and to the community that the child takes home his values and he begins to actively practice these moral and ethical values which by the way is one thing he's got going on American education which is why there's so many problems. OK. But the other issue that she raised was with the teen age and what happens when the light goes out. At this point I think it's misunderstanding or at some point he mis understood. What was happening. And in this state and what's happened because he starts to lead by
you know at the beginning of those teenage years I mean that I say we've got a job. That's right. I said we've got a child and. Whether it's whether it's the job of registering to vote once again or registering to vote to put people we trust in positions who can control funds which control schools which ultimately will control what our schools look like whether it's backing or becoming part of the organizations whether it is working specifically with their own children to keep that light alive. Or with ourselves. We have cells so that we become so it in this kind of laboratory a community laboratory community environment children practice these skills and they are practicing with people who are who do have values and certain kinds of ethical
and moral relationships with one another so that they had a job that. Is the black. Community an institution. If not why and if so why. It is institutional fear. Because. This is only. For only party United States policy which blacks can function and they're not allowed to function freely in any other institution in the U.S. So the blackness is definitely an institution. I believe the black community is the institution is because that's our home. That's where we live. That's where everything happens from bad things to good things in the home outside the home. It's our world. We have no other world but that world. I believe the black community could be better if we had black leaders. That were willing to stay in the black community and help the black community. Not. After they get out of the black
Say Brother
Education, Part One
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Host Barbara Barrow discusses the lack of communication between educators and students in the Boston School District with community members Gregory Spence (an attorney for the City of Boston), Kenya Clemens (of the Youth Activities Commission), Jeannette Bolt (playwright, and author of "A Minority Child's Day"), and Dr. Alvin Pouissant (noted psychiatrist and Harvard professor). Issues addressed include the different social backgrounds of educators and students, Black English in the classroom, the role of standardized achievement tests in student evaluations, the need for more humanity in the classroom. Also included in the program are "man on the street" interviews conducted by Associate Producer Vickie Jones (in which she asks people their opinion of black schools with white educators and whether or not black children should be taught by black teachers); an interview with Barbara Sizemore conducted by Jon Brim (on the problems of the Washington, D.C. school system and Sizemore's experiences as a former Superintendent of Schools there); an excerpt from a filmed performance of Bolt's play "A Minority Child's Day;" and the Community Calendar (in which local community and cultural events are listed).
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Chicago: “Say Brother; Education, Part One; 604,” 1976-02-10, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Education, Part One; 604.” 1976-02-10. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Education, Part One; 604. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from