Spike Lee urges Blacks to embrace education

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    Jan 31, 2012 8:05 PM GMT
    http://tucsoncitizen.com/arizona-news/2012/01/25/spike-lee-urges-blacks-to-embrace-education/

    “Despite 100 years of slavery, our ancestors were smart enough to know that education would be the thing to lead us out of bondage,” he said. “At a time when to learn to read and write was against the law for African-Americans, our ancestors risked life and limb to learn.”

    He spoke of his parents’ and grandparents’ generations greatest mantra: “Education is the key.”

    Then, he asked the crowd how, with such a rich history, fewer than half of Black males graduate from high school in America. [...]

    Lee blamed the influence that crack cocaine has had in poor neighborhoods and the influence that media have had in glorifying drugs and gangsters, whom he said are primarily portrayed by Black actors.

    “I am from the pre-crack generation. When I was growing up, we never, ever, never ridiculed someone because they were a good student,” he said.

    “Your generation, they now equate intelligence with acting White and ignorance with acting Black, and they wear it like a badge of honor. They say, ‘I’m ghetto. I’m gangster.’ What they are is ignorant.”
  • mke_bt

    Posts: 707

    Jan 31, 2012 11:34 PM GMT

    I appreciate you posting this. Now if only Spike Lee would take this message beyond the insular world of the ASU campus. As someone who is involved as a volunteer in my neighborhood public high school, I see that attitude all the time. I experience these kids at their best and worst. Its easy for a person of Lee's stature to just scold and go back to his comfortable home in Brooklyn but I would love to see some follow through by him. Maybe he'll put his money where his mouth is and do a residency at an inner-city school. Milwaukee would welcome him with open arms.
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    Feb 01, 2012 12:18 AM GMT
    mke_bt said
    I appreciate you posting this. Now if only Spike Lee would take this message beyond the insular world of the ASU campus. As someone who is involved as a volunteer in my neighborhood public high school, I see that attitude all the time. I experience these kids at their best and worst. Its easy for a person of Lee's stature to just scold and go back to his comfortable home in Brooklyn but I would love to see some follow through by him. Maybe he'll put his money where his mouth is and do a residency at an inner-city school. Milwaukee would welcome him with open arms.


    What do you think the solution is? There is a poor relationship between per student spending and outcomes, but are there programs that actually work? What's the solution to this, for lack of a better term, "culture of idiocy" (which isn't limited incidentally to some Blacks)?

    Personally, I'm working at a project on the side to develop learning tools that are scalable and cost effective that can be delivered over the net. So biased as I am, I think that part of the solution is for the educational tools to be there and cheap enough for some of these "lost" kids to catch up when they do realize it's important. But what else can be done?

    More controversially, I think inspiring teachers and changing social groups is also a solution for some of them - but that fixing schools isn't an answer (that's too slow without any guarantee of success) - that parents who want them should be allowed to move their kids anywhere else in the public system or get a voucher that moves them into the private system.

    I think the research shows that it's peer groups that are most important and from personal experience I'd say that's the case - that competition amongst my peers was probably more important to me than the numerous lectures I ever got from parents (though not to say those weren't factors either).