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#1 Old 11-17-2011, 09:03 AM
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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2239058/

This leaves me quite speechless.

Well, it makes racists happy, I'd wager.

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#2 Old 11-17-2011, 09:51 AM
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I really don't get why a lot of black people born in places like Canada and the US seem to want to hold onto their African heritage so tightly when they weren't even born there. I don't actually understand why anyone gets hung up on their heritage. I think it's healthier for society if people just be who they are in the present.

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#3 Old 11-17-2011, 09:59 AM
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It was my understanding that this school would not be ONLY for students from Africa, but that the curriculum and teaching would emphasize African culture/history etc etc. So any student of any ethnic background could attend, but they would encourage kids of african descent to attend.

Anyway, at first heard about it, I thought it was silly and borderline racist too (the "reverse" racism that seems to be on rise). But, if a group of ppl want to open a school with a African heritage focus, I guess why not. If parents want their kids to learn more about it, I guess it would be the place to attend! Let the market system sort it out. ^.^


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#4 Old 11-17-2011, 10:43 AM
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I see it as similar to girls-only schools. Or deaf schools, or other schools that teach everything in a language that is not the national language. In Vegas we have all kinds of specialty high schools so kids can develop their talents - schools that specialize in drama and arts, schools that are known for developing athletes (particularly basketball), etc.
Studies show that these environments can aid some students' success because it prevents a substantial amount of prejudice and allows the students to concentrate more on their areas of interest.

I don't have a problem with an "Afrocentric" high school or elementary school. Although, the school is set up for students with "African heritage" and that could pose a problem if not clearly definined since technically we all have African Heritage. I think the main issues would be with students who are light skinned enough to pass for white. That, and it might foster a culture of separatism that may add to racial conflict.
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#5 Old 11-17-2011, 10:47 AM
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^--- yep, I had a friend who I never knew was 1/4 black. Wouldn't be able to tell by looking at her or her sister. I wonder if she would have felt like an outsider in that type of a school.
But that is kinda like creating problems in our heads...


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#6 Old 11-17-2011, 11:01 AM
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The title of this thread should be changed. Africentric schools are absolutely not African-only.
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#7 Old 11-17-2011, 11:40 AM
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I think its a great idea. I grew up in Canada (live in the California now) and I hated that our curriculum was euro-centric. So, we touched on the history of Native Americans (not nearly enough in my opinion) and went in depth in Canadian post colonial history, but the majority of what we learn is Eurocentric. I think ALL schools should teach more African history, along with the history other cultures - especially now that our schools are so multicultural.

If someone wants to run an Afrocentric school, good for them! Its no different than any of the other schools in North America that have a specific focus (ie performing arts high schools).

I agree with Beatricious, the title of this thread is misleading, because it is certainly not for Africans only. It is a school which chooses to place learning emphasis on something other than our current Eurocentric view.
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#8 Old 11-17-2011, 11:43 AM
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What can be a big and incendiary issue for adults trained to be hyper-sensitive toward racial issues can be largely meaningless for kids.
Kindergarten through third grade I went to the nearest school to my house, it was a good school- little bullying, reasonably good teachers, like two yearly nature walks and once we released baby fishes in a river. The kids there were just kids.
It wasnt until years later that I realized only half the kids were white, the rest being a somewhat even mix of native americans, asians, and blacks, and it was the only elementary school in a city of 3 million that had a native american program. It was a native-american-centric school. I never even noticed the race thing because they never made an issue of it, it was just a good school. I think I counted as white since I'm 1/8 cherokee, but if anyone was counting it was only the school board.
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#9 Old 11-17-2011, 11:48 AM
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^---agreed! I grew up thinking racism was a thing we only read about in history books. It wasn't until the end of highschool that I learned that it was alive and kicking!


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#10 Old 11-17-2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatricious View Post

The title of this thread should be changed. Africentric schools are absolutely not African-only.

It seems that it's the case in this one though.

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#11 Old 11-17-2011, 11:51 AM
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^---it's not african only. This was on the news in Canada about a month ago. It's just poor journalism. The G&M sucks.


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#12 Old 11-17-2011, 11:55 AM
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Yeah, I checked up some more sites, and I was indeed in the wrong this time.

I wonder how it will turn out after some time has gone by though.

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#13 Old 11-17-2011, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SillySunshine View Post

So, we touched on the history of Native Americans (not nearly enough in my opinion) and went in depth in Canadian post colonial history, but the majority of what we learn is Eurocentric.

What I remember learning about First Nations/Metis/Inuit history was extremely selective. We talked a lot about their traditions and what we can learn from "our" (ugh) native peoples but I don't remember learning anything about e.g. residential schools until I was old enough to be interested in reading the news on my own.
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#14 Old 11-17-2011, 04:05 PM
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Exactly Beatricious! Canadian curriculum leaves out all the bad stuff, and thats how we end up with a nation full of people who are ignorant to the poverty and suffering that is happening right now on reserves all through the country.
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#15 Old 11-17-2011, 04:54 PM
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beatricious and Silly, there's a great book called "White Man's Indian" that might interest you. You can still get it used on Amazon and Powell's, and most university libraries will have it.
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#16 Old 11-17-2011, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishani View Post

I really don't get why a lot of black people born in places like Canada and the US seem to want to hold onto their African heritage so tightly when they weren't even born there. I don't actually understand why anyone gets hung up on their heritage. I think it's healthier for society if people just be who they are in the present.

Why should you understand? That others characterize out-of-mainstream heritage as something only to be "hung-up" on is a much bigger problem.
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#17 Old 11-17-2011, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SillySunshine View Post

Exactly Beatricious! Canadian curriculum leaves out all the bad stuff, and thats how we end up with a nation full of people who are ignorant to the poverty and suffering that is happening right now on reserves all through the country.

Definitely. Canada tries to pretend like we don't have problems with racism but we do, and ignoring them is only making them worse.

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Why should you understand? That others characterize out-of-mainstream heritage as something only to be "hung-up" on is a much bigger problem.

This!
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#18 Old 11-17-2011, 09:20 PM
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I wonder if a candid examination of European/Native American heritage just wouldn't piss both sides off.

History tends to have very few pure heroes and villians, at least at the group level. It's more of a grey and greyer morality.
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#19 Old 11-17-2011, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by das_nut View Post

I wonder if a candid examination of European/Native American heritage just wouldn't piss both sides off.

History tends to have very few pure heroes and villians, at least at the group level. It's more of a grey and greyer morality.


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#20 Old 11-17-2011, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by das_nut View Post

I wonder if a candid examination of European/Native American heritage just wouldn't piss both sides off.

History tends to have very few pure heroes and villians, at least at the group level. It's more of a grey and greyer morality.

I agree with the second comment, but the first one, absolutely not. This is a truly a situation where we need to teach younger generations about the mistakes that were made, so that history will not repeat itself. And, so that maybe both sides can work together to finally make peace and to find solutions for the poverty I mentioned I earlier.



Paperhanger, that book looks interesting! I'll have to see if i can get a copy. Thank you for the suggestion!
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#21 Old 11-17-2011, 11:50 PM
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I think that any school at which parents think their children have the best opportunity is the right one, and I hope that one works out well for those families.

What has always bothered me about US schools that I have seen curriculum for is that Asian history is pretty much ignored. Europe, Europe, Europe. And including literature classes, too.
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#22 Old 11-18-2011, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SillySunshine View Post

I agree with the second comment, but the first one, absolutely not. This is a truly a situation where we need to teach younger generations about the mistakes that were made, so that history will not repeat itself. And, so that maybe both sides can work together to finally make peace and to find solutions for the poverty I mentioned I earlier.

I'm really not too sure. Imagine, for example, teaching about the Dakota War of 1862. Lots of broken treaties and horrible behavior on the white side, especially when it came to the US government. And there's also a lot of dead white settlers whose major crime was sharing the same skin color as the men that the Dakota had legitimate grievances against. Then it ended with the largest mass execution in US history (38 Dakotas hanged).

That should go over like a lead balloon.
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#23 Old 11-18-2011, 08:03 AM
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What about the dark-complected people who are from elsewhere? There are native island cultures who have dark skin...are they all ultimately of African descent? I doubt it.
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#24 Old 11-18-2011, 09:20 AM
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What about the dark-complected people who are from elsewhere? There are native island cultures who have dark skin...are they all ultimately of African descent? I doubt it.

Human beings, according to current scientific knowledge, all evolved in Africa.

But you are correct that there are dark-skinned individuals whose ancestors lived outside of Africa for a long period of time. The negritos would probably be assumed by most people to be of African descent, but are actually from SE Asia.

Although even African could (and IMO, should) be criticized as a "race", since it tends to group different types of people together. Should the Khoisan people and the Bantu people be considered the same group for purpose of history, cultural studies, etc? I don't think so. It would be like grouping the Inuit and the Native Americans together.
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#25 Old 11-18-2011, 11:57 PM
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If you have a certain ancestry, you will probably feel it is part of your heritage even if you have never born or visited it- you will still feel a certain connection. I think as long as the school is not causing separatist-like situations and the students are getting a good education, I dont see the harm.
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#26 Old 11-19-2011, 12:32 AM
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It's interesting that the Canadian and USian VBers learned only European history. In my history classes we had a good mix. For example years 10-11:
- The history of black people in America
- The Cold War
- The emergence of modern China
- The First World War
- Jack the Ripper
- The British taking over India

I don't have any problem with schools that focus on the history of one place, but I think I was pretty lucky to get such a good range of history education.
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#27 Old 11-19-2011, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

It's interesting that the Canadian and USian VBers learned only European history. In my history classes we had a good mix. For example years 10-11:
- The history of black people in America
- The Cold War
- The emergence of modern China
- The First World War
- Jack the Ripper
- The British taking over India

I don't have any problem with schools that focus on the history of one place, but I think I was pretty lucky to get such a good range of history education.

I was exaggerating about the eurocentrism in the curriculum; it just seemed like everything was told from a european standpoint. All that you listed sounds similar to my kids' in high school. One course they both really liked was ancient cultures, but alas, it was a one-semester elective.
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#28 Old 11-19-2011, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

It's interesting that the Canadian and USian VBers learned only European history. In my history classes we had a good mix. For example years 10-11:
- The history of black people in America
- The Cold War
- The emergence of modern China
- The First World War
- Jack the Ripper
- The British taking over India

I don't have any problem with schools that focus on the history of one place, but I think I was pretty lucky to get such a good range of history education.


I covered all of that material in US rural high school, and not a progressive one at that.

I'm curious what you mean by, "The history of black people in America". Did you also discuss the history on black slavery in British colonies?
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#29 Old 11-19-2011, 10:57 AM
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I covered all of that material in US rural high school, and not a progressive one at that.

I'm curious what you mean by, "The history of black people in America". Did you also discuss the history on black slavery in British colonies?

You learned about Jack the Ripper? I wouldn't have expected that

We learned about the slave trade, including British involvement with it, but it was focused on how black people came to be in the US and how they fought for their rights and so on.
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#30 Old 11-19-2011, 11:56 AM
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You learned about Jack the Ripper? I wouldn't have expected that

We learned about the slave trade, including British involvement with it, but it was focused on how black people came to be in the US and how they fought for their rights and so on.

I think Jack the Ripper was something that just "came up" in classes for whatever reasons. I can't imagine it being a part of curriculum.
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