It seems so obvious now.
I don’t want it all to be about race. I don’t. But I teach mostly Black young people who have told me things like:
1. My family calls me “white boy,” you know, because I’m the one who goes to college.
2. Slavery ended in, like, 1930 right? C’mon Ms. Scott, I can’t remember all these dates.
3. I can’t do _________ <– insert any work, challenging or not, here.
Today my Advanced Composition students and I compared Javon Johnson’s 2013 poem about a day with his nephew to James Baldwin’s 1963 letter to his nephew My Dungeon Shook from his collection The Fire Next Time. We were discussing the technique of letter writing.
When Johnson alludes to Oscar Grant, I tell them we cannot watch the YouTube video of Grant’s shooting because I…
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