March 19, 2012 2 Comments
By Denene Millner
Jordan Shumate, a student at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading Hughes’ “The Ballad of the Landlord,” a 1940 protest poem about a tenant thrown in jail for challenging his landlord, when his teacher, Marilyn Bart, interrupted him. “She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan—c’mon, blacker. I thought you were black,’” Shumate told the Washington Post.
When the 14-year-old student refused to continue reading the poem, Bart showed him how it’s done. “She sounded like a maid in the 1960s,” said Shumate, whose story was corroborated by a fellow student. “She read the poem like a slave, basically.” Read more of this post