Fairfax County Student Told To Read Poem 'Blacker' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Fairfax County Student Told To Read Poem 'Blacker'

Play associated audio
Travis Ekmark: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sayholatotravis/3796435103/

An investigation is underway at George C. Marshall High School, after a Fairfax County mom says her son was allegedly asked to speak "blacker" by a teacher during what the mother said was a lesson on stereotypes.

Nicole Page says it all started when an English teacher asked her son to read a Langston Hughes poem aloud.

Her ninth grade freshman son, Jordan Shumate, is the only African-American in the class. Page says when her son stopped and said he was uncomfortable with the dialogue, the teacher stepped in.

"She interrupted me after I finished the first stanza, and told me to read it 'blacker,'" recounts Jordan. "She said, 'Blacker, Jordan. Come on, I thought you were black.'"

And Page says this isn't the first incident of the teacher's cultural insensitivity, as reported by her son. She says there was a poem by Tupac Shakur that she wanted him to rap out.

For her part, Page says she is shocked: "Very sad, a mourning for my child's loss of innocence that he would have to experience something like this."

"The Marshall High School administrators are taking the accusations seriously and they are pursing the investigation vigorously," says Jon Torre, spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools.

NPR

Rosh Hashana's Sacred Bread Offers Meaning In Many Shapes And Sizes

Making challah for the Jewish New Year lets the baker take a moment to reflect on life's blessings. The bread can be shaped into the traditional round, or a lion or bird to echo Bible verses.
NPR

Rosh Hashana's Sacred Bread Offers Meaning In Many Shapes And Sizes

Making challah for the Jewish New Year lets the baker take a moment to reflect on life's blessings. The bread can be shaped into the traditional round, or a lion or bird to echo Bible verses.
NPR

More Americans Favor Mixing Religion And Politics, Survey Says

The poll by Pew's Religion & Public Life Project also shows that three-quarters of survey participants believe religion's influence on American life is waning.
NPR

Seeking Frugal Tech Solutions For Nairobi's Jammed Traffic

Traffic in major cities in the developing world can be a mind-numbing mess. A team at IBM in Kenya's capitol thinks it's found an answer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.