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To be young, gifted, and Black

I just dropped my son off for his 5 day Japanese intensive at the CSUS Academic Talent Search. I first want to say that I am not paranoid and I am not a bigot. I had to have what I like to call the “uncle Joe” discussion with him before I signed him in. I wanted him to recognize the lack of diversity in the student body for the program.
“Milo, do you notice anything about the students you see here?”

His first answer was that they were all alone. Then I clarified my question.

“Milo, do you notice anything about the kids and the color of their skin?”

He said they were all white. I don’t think I am creating a paranoid kid when I explained to him that many of the kids here were white and Asian for a REASON. I explained that in special circumstances such as this enrichment program, it is EXPECTED that whites and Asians be here. The general thought is that they have parents who either recognize the importance, have the money, have the time, care enough about their child’s education or a combination of all of these to want to send their kids here.

I can’t wait to see how Milo’s first day went. Either way it will be a teaching moment to remind him that it should not be a special case to be “Young, Gifted, AND Black”. It should be a blessing and an opportunity to grasp the brass ring as well.

Why is it not “important enough” or “out of reach” or unaffordable” or “just for those rich white and Asian kids”?

Why does society allow us a window of opportunity to doubt ourselves that continues through generations and leaves whole sectors of certain nationalities in the academic dust?

Read more later… I WILL share my opinion on these thoughts later.


About ramblingsingleparentgoddess

a single parent comments on life and the pursuit of sleep. politics and current issues fall into play on the daily. read up

4 responses to “To be young, gifted, and Black

  1. bobbi ⋅

    Gracie – can i just say….as you know, Teyah also goes to this program – not this class…she just happens to be half white and half asian – however….i’m not rich. i don’t qualify for their financial aid…i pay for this out of my pocket – because i’m like you – i care about my kids education. I want to give her every opportunity that i didn’t have. so not ALL the white/asian kids have rich parents…just sayin 🙂

    hope Milo has a good week! Teyah doesn’t go until August for a chemisty class! she’s loved it every year – so i expect she will this year too!! we are lucky to have such great little brats…i mean…children! hehe

    • Girl, I know you are struggling too. I just had to give it to him from one perspective. I explained to him that it wasn’t everyone who fit that mold but as a young black man, he has to try to fly under the radar because he doesn’t quite fit the mold and should make an effort to not draw attention to himself based on stereotypes.
      You’re right we DO care about the advances our children can and will make with our determination and their hard work. There has to be more opportunity in programs like this for more inner city youth. Next year, i am going to request testing at my local elementary.

      He is LOVING Japanese like a mug. Milo tried to get into chemistry for this week but they were packed. Milo will be taking an am class august 1st. I wish there was more time for the classes.


  2. bobbi ⋅

    I hear ya girl…i don’t know the first thing about being an inner city child or being a young black man – but i do know – everyone has stereotypes in their heads, whether they want to admit it or not….i do wish more kids had the opportunity – no matter where they live!! these classes could spark an interest in any kid…they have fun while learning, it’s not like their regular old boring classroom instruction.

    Teyah has an AM class too that week! She’s taking the chemistry class. I think it’s in the sequoia building?

    so tell us how Milo did with his first day – or atleast update at the end of the week!

  3. Milo LOVED Japanese! the kids had a really good time and he got his little brain juices going. he cracked me up how he kept referring to this Japanese Phrases for Dummies book i bought him. the sad and ironic thing about this is that this can be offered through the community for free. my brain juices are flowing too

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