Before There Was Slavery [She Has My Eyes]
The title of this post is not addressing the time before humanity ever began enslaving one another (if there even is such a time), nor is it referring to the time before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. What I’ve been thinking about lately is the time before a Black American child is ever told about slavery, about Jim Crow, about the lynching parties, about the experiments on black bodies, about the complete annihilation of the cultural identities and inheritances that should have been ours by birthright.
Personally, I can’t remember a Before. By the time we discussed slavery in school, I already knew about it. I have to assume that my family told me, but I don’t even know that for sure. My education regarding slavery in school was pretty much along the lines of: “There were slaves, and then Lincoln freed the slaves because he was so kind towards black folks, and then there was Jim Crow, and then white people saw the error of their ways and ended that out of the goodness of their hearts (oh, and MLK wrote one speech, which was helpful), and now everyone is equal, yaaay!” As I mentioned in Raising a Woman of Color, Part III: History, the stuff that we DIDN’T learn about greatly outweighed the amount that we actually did learn about.
I’m thinking about Eve, and I wonder how I’m going to tell her. I don’t want her to learn the pathetic, watered-down, can’t-really-blame-nobody version that I learned in school. Leaving it up the the schools is simply not an option. But, like most parents, I also don’t want to hurt her. And how can I possibly tell her the truth without hurting her?
Racial Disparity in School Suspensions [The New York Times]
In many of the nation’s middle schools, black boys were nearly three times as likely to be suspended as white boys, according to a new study, which also found that black girls were suspended at four times the rate of white girls.
School authorities also suspended Hispanic and American Indian middle school students at higher rates than white students, though not at such disproportionate rates as for black children, the study found. Asian students were less likely to be suspended than whites.
The study analyzed four decades of federal Department of Education data on suspensions, with a special focus on figures from 2002 and 2006, that were drawn from 9,220 of the nation’s 16,000 public middle schools.
CNN has looked at Black In America and Latino In America, but tonight the network and series takes on a new direction. The latest in it’s Soledad O’Brien-reported series is Gay In America – with the first installment telling a very specific, and personal, story.
We talked to O’Brien this week about the special, CNN’s expensive commitment, whether ratings matter and more.
Gary and Tony Have a Baby takes just one story of a gay couple looking to have a child through a surrogate and tells it from beginning to end. It’s a differentiating factor from past installments. “The survey pieces are a great way to cover a lot of ground, but the challenge is realizing you cannot tell every story,” O’Brien told Mediaite this week. “From a storytelling perspective it’s not the best way to tell the story but does cover a lot of ground. This particular story just tell a single theme.”