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The Hidden Cost of Resegregated Schools



This is a little off-topic, I admit. But when I read Bill Maxwell's piece making the case that integrated schools don't help black kids enough, I felt compelled to raise what I have often felt is an overlooked point about the advantage of diverse schools for black children.

It can teach them how to live with white people.Tb_deggansopinpic_2

I can't imagine how that sounds to white folks. After all, what's there to learn? Even people who spend time dissecting ideas about race will concede that white culture dominates modern society.

But I have learned from my own experience that there is a difference between experiencing a people's culture through the filter of media and having to deal with it personally. And for black kids who grow up in all-black environments, it can be a challenge to cope with being a racial minority at all -- let alone navigating the currents of white dominated society as an outsider. And as long as society is dominated by white culture, understanding it and learning how to relate to it will be an important task for any person of color.

Anyway, I thought it was point worth raising, as the Tampa Bay area faces the very real possibility that the end of court ordered busing will bring segregated schools and parents seem more focused on the proximity of their schools than their diversity. So read my Perspective piece, and feel free to give me feedback here. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:41pm]


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