My grandson Amyis was almost a week old when I wrote about the labeling of black children on April 23, 2014. The sad reality is this one fact. The words I wrote two years ago still hold true for being a black boy, in many traditional public schools, in America today.
His whole world from birth to high school graduation will be dependent upon his parents, grandparents, educators, peers and the community supporting his positive development thus ensuring he has equitable access to opportunities and life experiences that keep him safe, nurtured, healthy and LOVED!
Yet, before he utters his first word, the current educational structure is designed to have him believe that he is inferior because he is a black boy!
Before he utters his first word, the current educational structure is designed to put him on a low tier educational track that is a pathway to prison because he is a black boy!
Before he utters his first word, the current educational structure has counted him in their educational funding formula as a child with behavior “problems” and a learning disability not AP classes bound (Advance Placement) because he is a black boy!
Before he utters his first word, the current educational structure has discounted his parents, grandparents and community because of zip-code and the fact that they are black people therefore they must be uneducated (sarcasm)! Only the educators & administrators – you know – “the experts” can save him – because he is a black boy!
I will say this, as his grandmother; NEVER underestimate the LOVE parents have for their children! And if you think parents of color and poor communities will continue to allow this “designed” educational system to DENY OUR kids their RIGHT to access an equitable SAFE education – think again!
Those before us, that were oppressed, answered the civil rights call for Liberation & Justice and they rose to action in the 50’s, and 60’s. Know this, we are rising to a call for immediate action TODAY!
WE MUST FIGHT TO GIVE OUR SONS & DAUGHTERS A CHANCE TO LIVE AND LOVE!
WE MUST REBUILD OUR FAMILIES AND MAKE A STRONG SELF-SUFFICIENT VILLAGE!
“The nation recognizes its social, civic and economic strength is directly linked to the strength of its public schools. But if every child is to have an opportunity for success, every student must have a true Opportunity to Learn.” John H. Jackson, President of Schott Foundation for Public Education
Gwen Samuel is a parent activist living in Connecticut. She blogs at Real Talk Gwen Samuel and The Huffington Post.