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March 06, 1987 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-06
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Continued from Page 7
One of my white colleagues had
just come back from a visit to a
number of Black colleges. She was
very impressed with achievements
of the students at these colleges,
their subsequent success in graduate
and professional schools, as well as
their contributions to their
communities. Her question to me
was, "What's the difference between
the Black students attending those
colleges and the Black students
attending the University of
Michigan?" My response to her was

that there were no differences
between the students, but that there
were differences in the institution.
Those Black students entering
the Black colleges were received in
a climate and corporate culture that
clearly indicated to them that
regardless of your test scores, or
grades, you are somebody, and will
be successful here and in life.
On the other hand, for Black
students at the University of
Michigan, even those with high
test scores and exemplary records,
there is a climate and corporate
culture that says your are a "special
admits," standards were lowered for
you to be here, you took the place

of a more qualified white. You and
your contribution to the
community are not of much worth.
There is much in the research
literature that indicates that our
expectations determins how we treat
students, which in turn impacts
student achievement and the
transferability of those
achievements. There is a need for
the restructuring of the climate and
culture of schools and schooling.
The need is an outgrowth of our
interdependence in a global
ecomony and a change in the
willingness of individuals who
belong to minority groups and
women to accept their previously

assigned adult roles in this country.
With all of the reform efforts
taking place in the country today,
we must make sure that they are
promoting inclusion and not
exclusion, and that they are not
perpetuating the sorting and sifting
purposes of schooling, which in the
past made the assigning and
accepting of roles for certain groups
and countries easier. -
Schools and universities must
truly value diversity. Black students
must not be expected to assimilate
into the white culture, thus losing
their cultural heritage and identity.
The celebration of Dr. King's
Dream and Black History Month

should mean that each of us, as
individuals and collectively as an
institution, is working to ensure
equity and excellence for all
students in 'all schools. These
celebrations will also mean that the
following statement is rejected and
its attendant practices are
"It is the business of the school
to help the child to acquire such an
attitude toward the inequalities of
life, whether in accomplishment or
in reward, that he may adjust
himself to its conditions with the
least possible friction."
-Frank Freeman,
"Sorting the Student,"
Education Review, 1924
This essay is excerpted from the
workshop presented during the Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Com-
meration Activities here.
Continued from Page 9
monetary solutions, expressing
sentiment and tabling action until
graduation only demonstrates efforts
to alleviate immediate tension. We
need long range solutions. The
administration needs to implement
racial harassment policies in its by-
laws and standard procedures guide.
Give us a "Tell-Someone" program
for racial harassment as well.
The students at the University
are demanding justice! Martin
Luther King Jr., wrote in a 1963
letter, "I have reached the regrettable
conclusion that the negroes' great
stumbling block in (their) stride
toward freedom is not the white
citizens' counselor or the Ku Klux
Klanner, but the white moderate
who is more devoted to 'order' than
to justice; who prefers a negative
peace which is the absence of
tension to a positive peace, which
is the presence of justice." U
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VOLUME 5, NO. 18

thbe AMidpgan 19atgL







PluS: Kim Wilde-


Interview: Peg Lourie

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