Our world is changing, yet education is still laying under the tree sleeping away as time passes. Finally in this day of age Education has slightly awakened and is looking around trying to figure out the new world and rediscovering its purpose to educate. Education is not a building and it's not an idea where it is a one size fits all. As Education rubs the sleep out of it’s eyes, it discovers a “Strange Fruit”. The Black Child is hanging under the tree where education sleeps. Blind to the warning signs, not allowing a word to escape from their lips to address the issue, and the attempted actions are barely enough to make a difference to free The Black Child. The rope is made of the predominant western education, prison pipeline, the illiteracy, the labels, and everything else that ties our scholars into a dead end. Where are the superheros with the capes saving The Black Child? The superheros are the ones you see who are not afraid to use their voice, presence, and taking risks to build a learning environment for The Black Child to transform into Scholars who have the tools to transform dreams into realities.
Let us be honest, the learners who learn and gain rich knowledge are the ones who understand the power of knowledge. The learners are exposed to life outside of their norm and are able to connect their new knowledge with their reality. The discussions of learning and the opportunities to productively struggle to understand new ideas has given these learners an advantage.
However, children who do not have those opportunities for new knowledge in their home. They have unique ways of learning and their foundation of knowledge is not the norm to the leaders of education. We see these students who lack the discussions outside of the classroom to productively struggle and be able to articulate their thoughts through writing, speaking, and thinking. They are less likely to pick up a book to expose them to different perspectives and ideas. The learners have a higher chance of being labeled as students who have learning disabilities and ignored, because of the lack of understanding of how these learners learn.
Two different types of learners yet they have one thing in common that is evident, which is they are all scholars and are able to become independent learners. Education is transforming whether it is prepared or not. Even though we know how children, whose skin is kissed by the sun, are faced with many challenges but receiving a quality education should not be one. Ignoring the students who are reading below level, the students who behave in peculiar ways, the students who came every day to make sure they had a meal, and the other students who just needed love, will no longer be accepted. “Black Children Matter”, no longer will people think it is ok to turn their backs on Black Students, who were thought not to be capable of learning, because of the lack of knowledge on how to reach them. The fear of admitting the fact Education does not know how to educate every student is dreadful. What hurts is that Education has evidence on how scholars identify ways and models on how to approach and develop learners from all backgrounds, but the thought of shifting the mindset for students of color seems to be an unnecessary change.
Is Education ready to burn the rope that cripples our students, let go of the traditional way of learning and embrace innovative ways to build learning environments for the Black Student sitting in the back of education? Educators taking their time out to allow students to pour into you, students have more to offer than you think. Use what you gain from this opportunity to drive your decision making to meet the needs of our Black Students. We must not be afraid of transforming the traditional learning setting and must not be afraid to embrace who our students are and their aspirations.
It took 400 plus years for people to realize we need to understand people of different cultures and respect their voices and presence. What they feel is valid, their tears of the disappointment of a country that states “All men are equal” yet being human and respected is what they demand is being ignored. Lynching has transformed from rope to take your vote, to a man with a badge legally killing you in daylight without a warrant for their arrest, to miseducation of the Black Child. This paragraph has a purpose, education is surrounded in hate for people of color, how do you think this affects the education system and the way the system prepares students of color. Look at the national data, ask yourself how is it possible for students of color to continue to be behind the learning curve. Look at the number of students who are identified with special needs who just did not know how to read or sadly never taught to read. Is Education ready to be the system to change and challenge the status quo, or is Education just riding the trend of being “Anti Racist” until the smell of the “Strange Fruit” completely wakes up Education and forces it to self-reflect?
I, too, am a part of the Education System…