American schools can’t figure out how to teach kids about slavery

American schools can’t figure out how to teach kids about slavery
P.R. Lockhart,  March 13, 2019, Vox.com



A white teacher at an affluent New York private school has been accused of holding a mock slave auction for her students in which white fifth-graders pretended to bid on their black peers.

Yes, seriously. This is a real news story. In 2019. From just last week, in fact. And it’s merely the latest in a long line of high-profile controversies revolving around poorly conceived lessons about slavery in American schools.

The latest story comes from the Chapel School in Bronxville, New York, a private school in an affluent, predominantly white neighborhood north of Manhattan. According to New York’s PIX11 news, fifth-grade teacher Rebecca Antinozzi allegedly had her black students leave the classroom and, according to one student, pretended “to put imaginary chains along our necks and wrists, and shackles on our ankles.”

The teacher then led the students back into the classroom, where their white classmates “were encouraged to bid on them,” according to the outlet. Antinozzi reportedly pretended to be a slave auctioneer during the simulation.

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Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
~Kahlil Gibran (1883 –1931), Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer.

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Sexism is a form of oppression and domination. As author Octavia Butler put it, "Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other 'isms' that cause so much suffering in the world."

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