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Student Told To Read Langston Hughes Poem “Blacker”

March 19, 2012 2 comments

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/03/student-told-to-read-langston-hughes-poem-blacker/

By Denene Millner

Post image for Student Told To Read Langston Hughes Poem “Blacker”A Virginia high school English teacher is under fire for repeatedly singling out her sole African American student—most recently demanding that the 9th grader read a poem by acclaimed African American poet Langston Hughes in a “blacker” style in front of his class.

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…

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