I was the smart black girl schooled in a white world, but zip code shouldn’t be our education destiny anymore

by Courtney | December 1, 2016

This is a beautiful essay. This part especially got me: “When we start comparing predominantly white communities to communities of color, I want to help people start to change the narrative from “better”… to different.”

She’s right. The way we talk about schools “bad” = segregated, poor, minority schools and “good” = white, affluent schools is horrifying. And incorrect. Incorrect in many ways — one that we don’t talk about is how these “good” schools are also segregated, and that kind of segregation is also “bad.”

And integration shouldn’t *just* mean enrolling children of color or children growing up with economic disadvantage in whiter/more affluent schools. It needs to be the bidirectional.

My kids (now in middle school) are one of the very few white/middle class kids in their otherwise Latinx, Title1 school. And though it has been challenging at times, I think it has really helped them grow. Academically they’re doing well (which is no surprise statistically speaking), but they have learned to care about people whose lives are not like ours, and know their classmates as friends. Maybe it is different — and I think it is, and I want to think on this more deeply — for white kids to go to minority-majority schools than it is for kids with experiences like this authors….?


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