One of my favorite parts of the summer is catching up on reading. By now I’ve whittled the pile down pretty far, just in time for the start of a new year. Now that I’m back in the proverbial saddle I’m starting to write about what I’ve been reading.
In the summer issue of NAIS’ Independent School magazine, Professor Lawrence Blum’s article, “A Matter of Urgency: Why we need courses on race and racism” makes a strong case for talking about a part of society and history that is uncomfortable for many. Blum’s argument about the value for all students to engage this history and conversation as part of their social literacy certainly rings true for me— talking about race isn’t simply multiculturalism, it’s something distinct. Courses about race let students learn about and think through a complex story of tragedy, triumph and the essence of what it means to be human.
It made me proud of our school which is coincidentally offering an elective called Race: Reality and Fiction for the first time this year. Taught by our two Diversity co-coordinators, it will examine race through the lenses of literature, science and pseudo-science. It’s nice to be ahead of the curve, even if just slightly.