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More Than Blinds Group

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Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create 20

[00:34:22] Jordan Harbinger: You force yourself to believe that you have the privilege of being black, you can create your own opportunities, your words in the book. What do you do in your face with contradictory evidence? Like discrimination or institutionalized discrimination or just people being assh*les and throwing that stuff in front of your face. How can you rationalize the belief that you have privileged with the evidence to the contrary?

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create 20


[00:35:36] Charlamagne Tha God: You know what I'm saying? But you're a human being. So it's a privilege to be alive. Now, what are you? You're a woman, a white man, you're an Asian man, whatever. Whatever it is, you embrace it. You know what I'm saying? Tell God, "Thank you for making me that." But you know, when it just comes to my blackness, I do truly feel like we are a divine people. Not saying that everybody else isn't divine, but you know, I just feel like when you're talking about black privilege, you're talking about something divine. I feel like we tap into a system that helps us to thrive and survive in this country. In spite of everything that's been thrown at us.

[00:58:46] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who loves Charlamagne, or if you know somebody who needs to hear his advice, share this episode with them. I hope you find something fascinating in every episode of the show. Please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.

Although I hope bibliophiles keep books by black writers on their bookshelves and TBRs, Black History Month is always the perfect time to read a book or three written by a black person. During February, we are often inundated with the same facts about Harriet Tubman freeing slaves, Rosa Parks taking a seat, and Martin Luther King Jr. having a dream. However, this is a myopic view of black history. Although slavery and the Civil Rights Movement are important events that heavily influence the black American experience, black history is not just the past. It is the present in which we live and the future we strive to create. The best way to better understand the experience of being black in America is to listen to black people when we share our stories. Below is a list of 20 memoirs that tell what it means to be black in America. These black American memoirs provide personal stories, political and social commentary, and historical context because black history is American history.

Ferguson also found that class size, at the critical point of a teacher/student ratio of 1:18, was a statistically significant determinant of student outcomes (Ferguson, 1991), as was small school size. Other data also indicate that black students are more likely to attend large schools than white students (Paterson Institute, 1996), with much larger than average class sizes (NCES, 1997a, p. A-119), and confirm that smaller schools and classes make a difference for student achievement (for a review, see Darling-Hammond, 1997).

Another study of African-American high school youth randomly placed in public housing in the Chicago suburbs rather than in the city, found similar results. Compared to their comparable city-placed peers who were of equivalent income and initial academic attainment, the students who were enabled to attend largely white and better-funded suburban schools had better educational outcomes across many dimensions. They were substantially more likely to have the opportunity to take challenging courses, receive additional academic help, graduate on time, attend college, and secure good jobs (Kaufman & Rosenbaum, 1992).

The common presumption about educational inequality is that it resides primarily in those students who come to school with inadequate capacities to benefit from what education the school has to offer. The fact that U.S. schools are structured such that students routinely receive dramatically unequal learning opportunities based on their race and social status is simply not widely recognized. If the academic outcomes for minority and low-income children are to change, reforms must alter the caliber and quantity of learning opportunities they encounter. These efforts must include equalization of financial resources, changes in curriculum and testing policies, and improvements in the supply of highly qualified teachers to all students.

Ferguson's (1991) recommendation that equalization focus on district capacity to hire high-quality teachers is an important one. In addition to the weight of evidence indicating the central importance of qualified teachers to student learning, there is real-world experience with the positive effects on teacher quality and distribution of such policies. When Connecticut raised and equalized beginning teacher salaries under its 1986 Education Enhancement Act, shortages of teachers (including those that had plagued urban areas) evaporated. By 1989, most teaching fields showed surpluses. The state raised standards for teacher education and licensing, initiated scholarships and forgivable loans to recruit high-need teachers into the profession (including teachers in shortage fields, those who would teach in high-need locations, and minority teachers), created a mentoring and assessment program for all beginning teachers, and invested money in high-quality professional development, with special aid to low-achieving districts. The state also developed a low-stakes, performance-oriented assessment program focused on higher-order thinking and performance skills, which is used to provide information to schools and districts, but not to punish children or teachers. By 1998, Connecticut had surpassed all other states in 4th grade reading and mathematics achievement on the NAEP and scored at the top in 8th grade mathematics, science, and writing. Although Connecticut still has an achievement gap it is working to close, black students in Connecticut score significantly higher than their counterparts elsewhere in the county (Baron, 1999; Wilson, Darling-Hammond, & Berry, 2000).

The outcomes of the current wave of curriculum and assessment reforms will depend in large measure on the extent to which developers and users of new standards and tests use them to improve teaching and learning rather than merely reinforcing our tendencies to sort and select those who will get high-quality education from those who will not. They will also need to pursue broader reforms to improve and equalize access to educational resources and support the professional development of teachers, so that new standards and tests are used to inform more skillful and adaptive teaching that enables more successful learning for all students.


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