Thursday, March 22, 2012

Living While Black

I teach at a very diverse school and so when a story like Treyvon Martin's lands in the news (Mother Jones has a terrific accounting, complete with transcripts of the 911 calls and regular updates as news on the case develops), there are invariably teenagers who have stories of their own about racial profiling they have experienced.  They are kids of privilege and opportunity, they go to school in a place with remarkable diversity and tolerance, and yet this school and their family life doesn't protect them from society's stereotypes. 

When someone volunteers a story, their classmates listen and nod, we talk about making sense of these experiences, we talk about how to get beyond them, and then I assure my students that when they run the world, this kind of thing won't be the norm.

With all of my heart, I hope I am telling them the truth. 

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