During the Progressive Era, a rehabilitative agenda took hold of American juvenile justice, materializing as a citizen-and-state-building project and mirroring the unequal racial politics of American democracy itself. Alongside this liberal "manufactory of citizens,” a parallel structure was enacted: a Jim Crow juvenile justice system that endured across the nation for most of the twentieth century.
In The Black Child Savers, the first study of the rise and fall of Jim Crow juvenile justice, Geoff Ward examines the origins and organization of this separate and unequal juvenile justice system. Ward explores how generations of “black child-savers” mobilized to challenge the threat to black youth and community interests and how this struggle grew aligned with a wider civil rights movement, eventually forcing the formal integration of American juvenile justice. Ward’s book reveals nearly a century of struggle to build a more democratic model of juvenile justice—an effort that succeeded in part, but ultimately failed to deliver black youth and community to liberal rehabilitative ideals.
At once an inspiring story about the shifting boundaries of race, citizenship, and democracy in America and a crucial look at the nature of racial inequality, The Black Child Savers is a stirring account of the stakes and meaning of social justice.
Each time a child was born in bondage, the system of slavery began anew. Although raised by their parents or by surrogates in the slave community, children were ultimately subject to the rule of their owners. Following the life cycle of a child from birth through youth to young adulthood, Marie Jenkins Schwartz explores the daunting world of slave children, a world governed by the dual authority of parent and owner, each with conflicting agendas.
Despite the constant threats of separation and the necessity of submission to the slaveowner, slave families managed to pass on essential lessons about enduring bondage with human dignity. Schwartz counters the commonly held vision of the paternalistic slaveholder who determines the life and welfare of his passive chattel, showing instead how slaves struggled to give their children a sense of self and belonging that denied the owner complete control.
Born in Bondage gives us an unsurpassed look at what it meant to grow up as a slave in the antebellum South. Schwartz recreates the experiences of these bound but resilient young people as they learned to negotiate between acts of submission and selfhood, between the worlds of commodity and community.
Scholars have long explored school desegregation through various lenses, examining policy, the role of the courts and federal government, resistance and backlash, and the fight to preserve Black schools. However, few studies have examined the group experiences of students within desegregated schools. Crossing Segregated Boundaries centers the experiences of over sixty graduates of the class of 1988 in three desegregated Chicago high schools. Chicago’s housing segregation and declining white enrollments severely curtailed the city’s school desegregation plan, and as a result desegregation options were academically stratified, providing limited opportunities for a chosen few while leaving the majority of students in segregated, underperforming schools. Nevertheless, desegregation did provide a transformative opportunity for those students involved. While desegregation was the external impetus that brought students together, the students themselves made integration possible, and many students found that the few years that they spent in these schools had a profound impact on broadening their understanding of different racial and ethnic groups. In very real ways, desegregated schools reduced racial isolation for those who took part.
For decades, Katie D’Angelo and Valerie Harrison engaged in conversations about race and racism. However, when Katie and her husband, who are white, adopted Gabriel, a biracial child, Katie’s conversations with Val, who is black, were no longer theoretical and academic. The stakes grew from the two friends trying to understand each other’s perspectives to a mother navigating, with input from her friend, how to equip a child with the tools that will best serve him as he grows up in a white family.
Through lively and intimate back-and-forth exchanges, the authors share information, research, and resources that orient parents and other community members to the ways race and racism will affect a black child’s life—and despite that, how to raise and nurture healthy and happy children. These friendly dialogues about guarding a child’s confidence and nurturing positive racial identity form the basis for Do Right by Me. Harrison and D’Angelo share information on transracial adoption, understanding racism, developing a child’s positive racial identity, racial disparities in healthcare and education, and the violence of racism.
Do Right by Me also is a story about friendship and kindness, and how both can be effective in the fight for a more just and equitable society.
During a field trip in Detroit on a summer day in 1989, a group of African American fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders talked, laughed, and ate snacks as they walked. Later, in the teacher’s lounge, Jeanetta, an African American teacher chided the teachers, black and white, for not correcting poor black students for “eating on the street,” something she saw as stereotypical behavior that stigmatized students.
These thirty children from Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood were enrolled in the Dewey Center Community Writing Project. Taught by seven teachers from the University of Michigan and the Detroit public schools, the program guided students to explore, to interpret, and to write about their community.
According to David Schaafsma, one of the teachers, the “eating on the street” controversy is emblematic of how cultural values and cultural differences affect education in American schools today. From this incident Schaafsma has written a powerful and compelling book about the struggle of teaching literacy in a racially divided society and the importance of story and storytelling in the educational process.
At the core of this book is the idea of storytelling as an interactive experience for both the teller and listener. Schaafsma begins by telling his own version of the “eating on the street” conflict. He describes the history of the writing program and offers rich samples of the students’ writing about their lives in a troubled neighborhood. After the summer program, Schaafsma interviewed all the teachers about their own version of events, their personal histories, and their work as educators. Eating on the Street presents all of these layered stories - by Schaafsma, his collegues, and the students - to illustrate how talking across multiple perspectives can enrich the learning process and the community-building process outside the classroom as well.
These accounts have strong implications for multicultural education today. They will interest teachers, educational experts, administrators, and researchers. Uniting theory and practice, <I>Eating on the Street</I> is on the cutting edge of pioneering work in educational research.
"All these white schools I've been sent to are racist," Sonya says. "I'd have done better in a black school. I was an outsider here." These are hard words for Vivian Paley, whose own kindergarten was one of Sonya's schools, the integrated classroom so lovingly and hopefully depicted by Paley in White Teacher. Confronted with the grown-up Sonya, now on her way to a black college, and with a chorus of voices questioning the fairness and effectiveness of integrated education, Paley sets out to discover the truth about the multicultural classroom from those who participate in it. This is an odyssey undertaken on the wings of conversation and storytelling in which every voice adds new meaning to the idea of belonging, really belonging, to a school culture. Here are black teachers and minority parents, immigrant families, a Native American educator, and the children themselves, whose stories mingle with the author's to create a candid picture of the successes and failures of the integrated classroom. As Paley travels the country listening to these stories, we see what lies behind recent moves toward self-segregation: an ongoing frustration with racism as well as an abiding need for a nurturing community. And yet, among these diverse voices, we hear again and again the shared dream of a classroom where no family heritage is obscured and every child's story enriches the life of the schoolhouse.
"It's all about dialogue, isn't it?" asks Lorraine, a black third-grade teacher whose story becomes a central motif. And indeed, it is the dialogue that prevails in this warmly provocative and deeply engaging book, as parents and teachers learn how they must talk to each other, and to their children, if every child is to secure a sense of self in the schoolroom, no matter what the predominant ethnic background. Vivian Paley offers these discoveries to readers as a starting point for their own journeys toward community and kinship in today's schools and tomorrow's culture.
Jacqueline Jones LaMon University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3612.A547L37 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Inspired by actual case histories of long-term missing African American children, this provocative and heartrending collection of poems evokes the experience of what it means to be among the missing in contemporary America. This thought-provoking collection of persona poems looks at absence from the standpoint of the witnesses surrounding the void and offers an intimate depiction of those impossible moments of aftermath lived by those who remain accounted for and present. While enabling us to question our own sense of identity, this unique collection of poems reveals the blurred edges of separation between them and us and the impact that the missing have upon our present and future.
“The design of this Memoir is, to present the incidents in the life of a little colored boy.” So begins the life story of James Jackson, as set down by his African American teacher, Susan Paul, in 1835, as an example to other children and adults who might learn from the boy’s goodness.This remarkable document—the first African American biography and a work that predates Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by almost thirty years—is a lost treasure from the annals of African American history. With its combination of eyewitness accounts, personal testimony, and excerpts from traditional Sunday school texts, the memoir is an extraordinary social history rooted in both nineteenth-century evangelicalism and the experiences of free African Americans.Susan Paul’s portrayal of James Jackson’s Christian sensibility, his idealism, and his racial awareness emphasizes his humanity and exemplary American character over his racial identity, even as it embeds him in his African American community.
Child maltreatment occurs in the Black community at higher rates than any other racial group. Given the prevalence of child maltreatment risk factors in the Black community, such as being in a low-income family, single parent family, greater exposure to physical discipline, and less access to services and resources, it is not surprising but nonetheless concerning that Black children are at greater risk for abuse and/or neglect. Unearthing the cause and effect between the challenges faced by the Black community and the life outcomes for Black children is key to making positive changes happen. Through a feminist and womanist lens, the authors unpack the range of factors that intersect and impact the Black community that are necessary to address to effectively protect Black children. Understanding how to prevent maltreatment and promote health and wellness are essential to adequately address maltreatment so as to protect and empower Black children.
How special education used disability labels to marginalize Black students in public schools
The Unteachables examines the overrepresentation of Black students in special education over the course of the twentieth century. As African American children integrated predominantly white schools, many were disproportionately labeled educable mentally retarded (EMR), learning disabled (LD), and emotionally behavioral disordered (EBD). Keith A. Mayes charts the evolution of disability categories and how these labels kept Black learners segregated in American classrooms.
The civil rights and the educational disability rights movements, Mayes shows, have both collaborated and worked at cross-purposes since the beginning of school desegregation. Disability rights advocates built upon the opportunity provided by the civil rights movement to make claims about student invisibility at the level of intellectual and cognitive disabilities. Although special education ostensibly included children from all racial groups, educational disability rights advocates focused on the needs of white disabled students, while school systems used disability discourses to malign and marginalize Black students.
From the 1940s to the present, social science researchers, policymakers, school administrators, and teachers have each contributed to the overrepresentation of Black students in special education. Excavating the deep-seated racism embedded in both the public school system and public policy, The Unteachables explores the discriminatory labeling of Black students, and how it indelibly contributed to special education disproportionality, to student discipline and push-out practices, and to the school-to-prison pipeline effect.