There was a classroom I was observing several months ago where the teacher showed a film on Black experience in Latin America and it actually featured people of African descent picking cotton. This was a painful moment for the African American students in the room, and it was unnoticed by the Latina teacher in the room. As a white person, I experienced another layer of complexity in terms of how to intervene and to tell the teacher that one of her students was visibly upset due to the material of the film.
And yet I stepped in. It wasn’t pretty. The teacher was very offended that I had said anything as a white person. I think that this is a very difficult issue and that teacher training doesn’t always teach about the nuances of talking about race in environments where there is not caucusing or “safe spaces” but where students are still harmed by the material in the classroom. And I touched on this in another post on Brene Brown several weeks ago, where I praised her for being aware of subjectivity as we try to change the way things objectively are.
Think to yourself what you would have done differently and send me an email about this at firstname.lastname@example.org .