"All we read here are black books written by white authors!" he said under his breath. "What was that?" I urged. "Think about it, Mrs. Mattern. We read To Kill a Mockingbird by a white girl, Mississippi Trial by a white guy, and now we finally get Malcolm X. Why can't we read more of this stuff?"
My students are the epitome of diversity.
In one building we have a distinct Russian population, Muslim population, a low socioeconomic population, and an array of students who come to our school to get away from more urban schools in the area. With that being said, we are working on bridging the gap between socioeconomic groups and also eliminating the bullying that may of our Arab students face. As a school we are building positive behavior programs and more clubs so that the students WANT to be there. Too many high interest "fun" activities have been taken out of the curriculum, so we are bringing it back into our after school programs.
My seniors this year will be able to read a female point of view in literature, from an African American woman. It would correlate to the classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and also give them a counterpart to what they may have read junior year with Malcolm X's Autobiography. I will partner this read with Their Eyes because the student need a modern interpretation that is high-interest that they will actually read as opposed to "Spark-Note." This is the problem with many student readers today...if it doesn't relate to them at this critical point, they will just read Spark Notes. I feel this book will be highly read and encouraged by others as shared reading. I also know that allotting them two books by a female author will inspire many students who have not read anything in their four years at Carman by a female author (besides Harper Lee).
When my student posed the question above to me, I admit, I had never really thought about the lack of diversity within our books.
As a teacher I strive to bring in authentic material from all ethnic backgrounds, but never realized our students take note of this and understand that our school requires books that are mostly written by old white men. If this project happens, I will be better able to serve my students with meaningful literature and lessons that they can take with them to college.Read More
|For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf • AKJ Books||$9.36||30||$280.80|
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