Flint, Ferguson, New Orleans and Baltimore — cities now inseparable from the national news stories centered there — became calamities for separate reasons. One was a natural disaster (made worse by human error), another a wholly man-made crisis. The two others began with police violence, but in disparate settings: the newly impoverished suburbs and the long-distraught inner city. Flint and New Orleans were failures of infrastructure, Baltimore and Ferguson a collapse of human relationships.
I’ve had a discussion about how to talk about the “N-word” with a couple of teachers, so I thought I’d share this resource, which is a 9th-12th grade lesson plan that could be modified/adopted for various subjects.
And here is Straight Talk about the N-Word.
There’s also a list of resources at the end of the lesson plan document, such as these two readings:
Mommy, What Does “Nigger” Mean? by Gloria Naylor (I’ve used this in classes before and recommend it.)
I have the book Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy in my office if anyone would like to borrow it. I will put a copy in the library soon, too.
I have other resources and am happy to talk more in person if you’d like to discuss various approaches.
And finally, a wonderful resource for having difficult conversations from Teaching Tolerance:
A tiny bit of good news from Ferguson:
“The City of Ferguson, Mo., announced Monday that it was withdrawing thousands of arrest warrants for municipal violations and taking steps to prevent the incarceration of people who cannot pay fines and fees, a response to the sharp criticism of its court system that emerged after the killing of Michael Brown last year.”
Read more here: Ferguson Announces an Amnesty on Warrants – The New York Times