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Baldwin 2014 revised_3


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A Primer on James Baldwin

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Baldwin 2014 revised_3

  1. 1. james baldwin: a letter to teachers (that means you!)
  2. 2. love this quote . . .
  3. 3. Getting warmed up. . . Forget about the fact that this is Disney. Here’s a fictional depiction of the era in which Baldwin wrote. (ps—you really should watch the whole film)
  4. 4. who on earth is james baldwin?  why are we studying him in this class?  i thought we we going to learn about education?  all valid questions, except there were more figures important to the Civil Rights movement than MLK Jr. & Rosa Parks read baldwin’s bio
  5. 5. Do you take equality for granted? What affects my racial viewpoints?  DO I SEE the world through a privileged status?  Have I ever been “othered”?  Think race issues have gone away?  Especially that Obama is President?  Think schools are segregated today? Hear it from Baldwin’s contemporary, Langston Hughes Where I grew up Religious / Spiritual Upbringing My Economic Status My school experiences My race
  6. 6. to what end education?  Students in the past have criticized this question, often complaining it is incomplete—that it lacks a fullness.  I, however, like the openness it encourages.  If James Baldwin were to answer this question, what would he say?  Find a passage from “A Letter to Teachers” that addresses “to what end education.” Really, take some time and do that now. You will be asked to write about it on the discussion forum.
  7. 7. an interview What has baldwin taught you about the “multicultural” foundations of our schools? James Baldwin live . . . Listen to race in his words. . . . What are YOU going to do when you are faced with teaching students who inevitably will see you as privileged and who won’t respect you? Are you ready for that shock? OK. Take a moment. What have you learned? What was going on in our country that made our schools so sick? Who is to be held accountable? Here’s the answer: BUILD TRUST
  8. 8. How far have we come? Since the publication of “A Talk to Teachers,” 1963  Read this first  Read this second
  9. 9. How far have we come? Since the publication of “A Talk to Teachers,” 1963  OK. Here’s another angle. You might be saying to yourself, “Well, our schools are not segregated anymore. At least we have come that far.”  Please read this report. I know it is academic (but you’re in graduate school), and it is damning. Download the full text and take the time to read it. Think about the race issues Baldwin discussed.
  10. 10. How far have we come? OK. Was that too deep? Check out what’s happening in my part of the woods across the Hudson. (By the way: Westchester & Rockland ARE JUST LIKE BERGEN COUNTY!) If you cannot view the article, you need to become a member. Take the time to do so; it’s worth it.
  11. 11. james baldwin •What are MY expectations of how I will handle the race issue in the classroom? •Will I be ready? •What did I gain from Baldwin? •What would he want from me as a teacher?
  12. 12. james baldwin Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. James A. Baldwin It is very nearly impossible... to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind. James A. Baldwin You know, it's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself. James A. Baldwin
  13. 13. Remember me james baldwin