Dr. Nadine Bryce Publishes Article Entitled “Smart While Black: How Systems of Bias Reproduce the Racial Status Quo”
Dr. Nadine Bryce authored an article that was recently published in Diverse Issues in Higher Education entitled, “Smart While Black: How Systems of Bias Reproduce the Racial Status Quo.” It speaks to the need/urgency to do work to advance equity and justice in education.
As a child, I was denied being valedictorian because I am Black. Two months before graduation, Ms. Brody, my eighth-grade science teacher, a White woman in her mid-40s and the toughest teacher in the school, pulled me into her office and asked, “Do you want to go to college.
“Yeah, sure!” I said, though I hadn’t given it much thought.
“You are the valedictorian, and you should be really proud of that. The salutatorian is in the SP class, someone you don’t know. But they are not going to let you do it.”“Yeah, sure!” I said, though I hadn’t given it much thought.
“What?! Why?” I asked.
“Because the parents expect the valedictorian to come from the SP class, which is the gifted class,” she said. “Your grades are better. Some of them don’t get the concepts. They are not smarter than you.”
Without knowing consciously that children were tracked according to “ability,” I was aware enough to see White and Asian students were always in the “highest” classes.
“The teachers make the decision, and they all got together and decided they did not want to upset the parents. But I think it is because they are White, and they want someone White to win the award.”
Stunned beyond words, I sat in silence.
Read the full article at Diverse Issues in Education.