Racial Minorities and Schooling

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Reflection on Racial Minorities and Schooling When I was in second grade, I found it hard to believe that racial minorities were not easily welcomed in the United States and received different treatment than I did. During a weeklong unit about racial segregation between blacks and whites, I participated in an experiment in which my teacher devoted one day to giving preferential treatment to all the blonde haired students in my class. As a brunette, I unfairly witnessed my teacher ignoring my questions and providing snacks to all my blonde friends. The moment my teacher refused my request to go to the bathroom, I broke out in tears. While I kept reminding myself that her intentions were purposeful, I struggled to accept that black children actually experienced the harsh realities of this treatment. When I read “Cut Yer Thumb er Finger Off,” I was reminded of how difficult it was for these innocent children to gain acceptance from the white community and properly receive a decent education. Instead, they attended colored schools where they “sat on benches, crowded together, and shared tattered, hand-me-down books discarded by white schools (13).” Learning about the racial discrimination of black children at a young age has helped me develop a sense of appreciation for growing up in a nurturing learning environment. More importantly, however, it has contributed to my awareness of the struggles racial minorities face today, particularly in schools. While I appreciate my elementary school for providing a basic understanding of racial discrimination, I regret having not learned about other pertinent racial inequalities that were apparent in the United States. Reading “Yellow Peril” in the Schools is the first time I have been introduced to the injustices faced by Chinese Americans in the late 1800s. I would not have guessed San Francisco was discriminatory
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