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April 27, 2010


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I commend the intent, but too often the result only serves to perpetuate problematic representations while at the same time enabling the self-deception of being tolerant and open-minded.

Any form of passing on knowledge that depends upon erasing the identities of its learners is not education but indoctrination. Far more important than diversifying curricula is developing the ability to question how works become part of the canon and what that reveals about the world we live in. To tell students what to think without teaching them how to think, in this context, only serves to facilitate delusions of inclusiveness. Not to mention, it works to keep the status quo in place by not giving people the tools to transform it. It's a set-up, and one that exacts terrible prices for people who forget or ignore what this world is really like.

I went to an HBCU. As an English major, I studied a lot of the same shit you get at PWIs, but from a decidedly different perspective - one where, for once, I didn't have to pretend that I wasn't a Black woman.

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