One of my students told me it bothered him that in order to get a job later in life he would have to sound like a house slave. Is this the right attitude?
Have him watch Malcolm X (Spike Lee). It explains the 'House Negro' vs. 'Field Negro' thing pretty well, and gives a great example of how someone can learn the system and use it to stand on their own two feet without selling out.
Michelle Obama said it is good for everyone to speak the Queen’s English.
He is a product of the “Liberal victim mentality” I have seen many young people effected with this mind warping. It’s reversible but unless the US deters our current Culture War on our young minds we will potentially lose another generation.
While I understand his point, there is a discourse in the real world. All of us have to wear various hats in order to be successful. If you are unable to manage it, you will only get so far. When I’m networking at events for my husband’s job, I don’t use my teacher discourse. When I’m in the classroom I don’t use the same language I do at the bar. That’s life.
@keyannawinston. I kind of want your opinion.
I never knew sounding intelligent was to sound like a white, or a house slave.
I think the student is referring to affirmative action, and how businesses are more likely to hire someone who sounds stereotypically black because they have quotas to fill
No, I asked him. He was upset because he thought black people should not have to sound intelligent. To him, sounding intelligent for black people meant you were a house slave.
I wish I could say let it go, but he *is* your student. Is he a college student already? Sounds like high school sophomore stuff. I would tell him that it doesn't matter what people think of him personally, but that he is going to need a college education to get a job in the first place.
Also, "house slave" brings to mind words like "Uncle Ben" and "sho' thing massa". In my mind it's the exact opposite, I picture house slaves as uneducated. I definitely would not bring this up though because -no offense- it's not really your place as an educator to say that kind of thing. I foresee a "you think black people sound like what?" scenario.
I should admit, this really isn't my forte. Is there a black educator there that you can get advice from? Try to bring it up to them from a "I want this student to succeed" perspective instead of a "why are black people like this?" perspective. Race relations can be very tricky for educators. There's not much you can say without upsetting somebody.
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I teach high school. I guess what bothered me the most is that he didn’t actually say house slave. He implied house nigger. But I’m going to let him know that the same rules of speech applies to rednecks too.
As an educator at least I would have tried.