A recent article, America’s Unspoken Education Issue: Black Kids Need Black Teachers, proposes that Black students will not reach their achievement level if taught only by White teachers. The article originated from a New Orleans Black student. The student stated in his article that “Hiring more White teachers is not the best way to improve education for students, particularly students of color”.

The statement by the student could be an indication that the Black student is racist against White teachers. One question that we have to ask is How does a Black student become racist against a white teacher? Let’s begin with the home. Many researchers and scholars believe that the challenges associated with lack of Black student is a direct correlation to the family values that students learn at home. This will always be true. However, we must be honest and look at why a parent would allow such values to become prominent in their child’s life.

I believe that the Black child reaches a point where they begin to evaluate their immediate surroundings. They begin to notice some of the short comings in their family. Then a light bulb goes off. That light bulb is the realization that the American education system is a farce. They see there Black parent(s) struggling to make ends meet and begin to resent the same educational system that is socializing them. They become oppositional to the education system and the clash with their teacher begins. Activist and researchers believe that Black teachers can solve the educational shortcomings for Black students.

The reason that Black teachers become so attractive to the education system is that when a Black teacher has reached middle class status as a teacher, it conveys the message that any Black student can reach this plateau as well. It also conveys the message, to many Black students, that they do not have to be racist against White teachers to become successful.

The fallacy in the students opinion is that these same Black teachers who have become teachers have had to negotiate their way through a predominately White teacher education system. Therefore, the White teacher brings much value to the life of every Black student. Instead of Looking to hire a Black teacher force which we know will never manifest itself in the quantity needed to meet the present demands, let’s better train our White teachers. Let’s teach them how to become more accepting of the Black student values and learn to use them to the benefit of the education of all students. Let’s do this in such a fashion that White teachers do not become alienated or defensive.

Can we stop Black student racism against White Teachers?

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

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