Black History Month - teach something new

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Guitart, Feb 2, 2018.

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  1. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 9, 2018

    If I was a sixteen year old kid, I would be just as quick to point out that my nationality or age shouldn't matter.

    I guess Caesar has a point by saying that I don't have a clue about race relations in the united states. However, I already pointed out that I don't even know what goes on in my neighborhood. If I was American, would that give me a greater understanding of the racial problems that exist there?

    Maybe while eating my bologna on wonderbread sandwich while watching Oprah in some white suburb of San Francisco, I'd be a bit more in tune with the experience of blacks who live in the inner-city, but I'm not entirely convinced.

    Gimme five!
     
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  2. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 9, 2018

    Belch,

    You do know that verifying your source is standard practice for constructing knowledgeable opinions, right? It's one of the basics of research, and not it's not an ad hominem to state that one source is more reliable than another based on their evidence or personal history. It's simple fact. I'm not "attacking the source" if I decide to use a peer reviewed research article over some opinion piece posted on Breitbart. One is factually more reliable.

    To use your "student" example, you probably wouldn't cite your student as a source on an academic paper about most topics since they are not experts or may not have experiences that relate to what your study is about. So yes you might say they do not know dog poo from shinola.

    If you don't want to divulge your personal history and experience with American race relations, that's fine. Just don't expect to be taken as a reliable source over someone who had lived here and is willing to own up to it.
     
  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 9, 2018

    Yes.
     
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  4. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 10, 2018

    Well look at this way, this country was built on the mass rapes, torture and genocide of 2 groups (Natives having their land stolen and nearly entire population killed off, and millions of Africans murdered and 12 million being stolen from their land and having their family lineage and cultural identities forever destroyed-cultural genocide), and this was all very recent where the devastating effects still pierce every inch of life. There has been no recovery period, the wounds are fresh, the racist and 'greed' beliefs that led to genocide and slavery still remain widely. Thus there is very little safety and virtually no systematic protection for Natives and for Black people no matter where they live.

    If it's not your life in danger, it's easy to look the other way
    Look into the horrific rapes that girls and women on reservations experience. It mirrors what Black people in poverty experience, again, the government that was built on the genocide of certain groups has no interests in protecting the rights and lives of those groups even in 2018.

    A 16 year old kid will know nationality matters if they are in one of the groups where the genocide of their people built the society they have to live in.

    Just as Ameri-Indians throughout the Americas fight to hold on to what little identity they have left, so do black people.

    No one is about to let their heritage be erased by a world that has already taken enough from them
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  5. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 10, 2018

    That's a talented student!!
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Feb 10, 2018

    I came from humble beginnings (my parents were dirt poor) and I am European (55%), Sub-Suharan African (40%), Native American (1%), Jewish (2%), South Asian (1%) and East Asian (1%), so I’m very multicultural, but I could care less about what happened to my ancestors — it has absolutely zero effect on my life today. @webmistress, you don’t speak for anyone except you. You don’t occupy the mind of anyone else and so you cannot make generalizations, such as all Native-Americans and African-Americans in the United States know the feel of oppression. Ridiculous. And I thought you disliked it when people made sweeping generalizations about people of color? You sure do make a lot of them.

    Not once during any of my job applications was I asked about my race. Not once. Not once was my race considered by my evaluators for any math test I’ve ever taken. I do very well for myself financially (I make $82,000 annually at the moment) and never once thought that my ethnicity held me back. The only thing I get asked by people ALL the time is what my race is — I have very light-brown skin, hazel eyes, and dark brown curly/wavy hair with high cheekbones, and other sharp facial features. I look racially ambiguous because I am a mixture of so many things (French, German, British, Irish, Spanish, etc.). However, no one cares about my race and neither did any of my teachers or professors. There were times that I was the only “person of color” in my classes and didn’t think twice about it. I cared about learning the material to get a good job — that was my central focus throughout my primary, secondary, and tertiary schooling.

    If you always think you’re a victim, then you’ll stay forever a victim and your station in life won’t improve. You have to take the initiative and the resolve yourself to have a better life because no one will do it for you. You will prevent yourself from achieving if you refuse to learn proper English (employers DO care that you can read and write skillfully and speak eloquently) and you will further stifle any progress if you continue to tell students they’re victims. BTW, I don’t feel that “the White man is getting me down” either, which is the prevailing theme of today.

    With that said, I am going to present a logical argument and not one that is emotion-driven. I know you don’t like statistics, but please try to follow along.

    In the United States, African-Americans have a 75% probability of joining the middle class, according to the Brookings Institute, which is a left-leaning organization. To clarify, African-Americans only have to do three things to do this: 1) graduate from high school, 2) don’t have children out of wedlock, and 3) get a job.

    https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/...teens-should-follow-to-join-the-middle-class/

    The problem is the nonmarital rate amongst African-Americans, which stands at 73%. (This was checked by Politifact, found to be true, and mentioned by Don Lemon on CNN.)

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-m...on-lemon-says-more-72-percent-african-americ/

    The problem is further compounded by the fact that students with limited English have even lower graduation rates (less than or equal to 61%). So if you have a child out of wedlock, don’t graduate from high school, and speak shattered English, of course you’re going to be in the low class. If instead, you graduate from high school, learn a trade, get an internship, start a business, or go to college, and then once you get a job should you finally get married (should you choose to have a committed relationship) and have children (if you both wish to), and in that order, then you have a much greater likelihood of being apart of the middle and even upper class. Imagine that.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/d...ap-in-high-school-graduation-rates-is-closing

    I’d like a rebuttal from you that is fact-based and not emotional, please.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  7. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 12, 2018

    I'm not going to bother delving into your long list of unsubstantiated allegations, but if that's what you want, then that's what you will get.

    Honestly, I think most Americans don't care about that nonsense anymore. If you want to make that your line in the sand, then that's where the war will be waged.

    Sorry, but that's all a bunch of nonsense, and has absolutely nothing to do with education.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  8. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 12, 2018

    Yes, and I also know that an ad hominem is an ad hominem. This means "against the human". In this case, I am being asked for bonafides as to my nationality, which is a classic ad hominem.

    I had previously assumed that teachers of any ilk would understand basic logic.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 12, 2018

    Peregrin's "Yes" - begging your pardon, Peregrin - should be amended to "Yes, provided one is actually willing to listen and learn."
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 13, 2018

    Did you just ad hominem in your post about ad hominem? lol.

    Anyway, asking someone about their background in a particular topic that is being discussed is not an ad hominem. It's informative as to whether or not the person can be counted as a reliable source.

    It's only ad hominem (fallacious in other words) if a personal attack is made which is irrelevant to the topic being discussed, which is not the case in this instance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 13, 2018

    That's very true!
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Feb 13, 2018

    I had a discussion with my students about this just yesterday. They asked why we weren't doing a special Black History Month unit in my literature course. I told them that I felt that all voices should be heard throughout the year. We talked about the works we had studied last semester, and how the reflected the diversity of our student population. We talked about how we had, in the course of studying literature, learned about the Civil Rights Movement in the US, Apartheid, women's suffrage, rights of the mentally ill in the court systems, and read stories and poems of immigrants from all over the world. They agreed that they's rather continue to hear a variety of voices, and have everyone's history taught together than thrown together in a unit for a month at some arbitrary time. So, no, I don't celebrate Black History Month in my classroom. I celebrate Black history, and all minority contributions to our country, all of the time.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2018

    I have nothing against Black History Month and Latino Heritage Month and all of those. I think it's a fine thing to have that opportunity to focus on a culture. But I love how you handle the situation. It's hard because not every group gets celebrated quite the same as others.
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Feb 13, 2018

    Exactly! I love the attention that different "months" bring to different cultures, but I also think that we should be celebrating diversity throughout the year, beyond each particular month. So will we study some texts by Black creators this month? Probably, but we're studying Romeo and Juliet and Maus and related text sets, so it's less likely this month than in the fall, when the themes in our curriculum were "Finding Common Ground," "The Struggle for Freedom," and "The Bonds Between Us." But I will work to present a wide variety of voices in my classroom regardless of whatever anchor text we are studying.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 13, 2018

    While we discuss diversity, we should also be discussing how we are the same. Too much focus on diversity and not enough on how we are the same leads more to divisiveness than unity.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 13, 2018

    This is excellent. It is inclusive but not presenting any one group as somehow more "special" or deserving of a separate designation since we are striving for equality for all.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2018

    :celebrate:
     
  18. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 13, 2018

    You haven't made the case for the relevance.

    Good luck!
     
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  19. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Feb 14, 2018

    I'm sorry,I if you're not American, and not in America, how exactly is it that you believe you have such detailed understanding?

    Look, you lead off with saying that BHM is "a racist pile of manure", a "crock", and, "a special month to celebrate the color of your skin" (is that an official description from the NAACP? Because if not,I suspect I can find some other organizations who do refer to BHM that way).

    Celia's method of teaching is fine and great. However, is that really what most teachers do? For some reason, there's a substantial subset of the population that thinks the civil war was about states rights, which is a bit like saying the Nanjing incident was a land dispute (to give something in your neck of the woods).

    I have some sympathy for the initial nonrebuttal. It wasn't a rebuttal because no argument is advanced when you merely call the effort a crock and then show you have little understanding of what it is. And hold up an actor as your source of academic authority (much as I admire and respect Mr Freeman).
     
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  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 14, 2018

    The case has been made. Just because you didn't like the answer doesn't mean it's invalid. Thanks bye!
     
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