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Toronto is debating opening an Afrocentric school. There is a lot of opposition. Who would have guessed. From what I have seen there are cries of segregation. This of course ignores both the inherent differences between segregation and seperation (one is where students are forced, and the other is where there is a choice), and that any student can go to the Afrocentric school. The other cries are Canadian taxpayers that don’t want to have to pay for Afrocentric education for anyone.

I truthfully wouldn’t want my tax dollars paying for the fucked up Eurocentric education system where I live. I think that this is a continuation of white being seen as a default, unraced objectivity. When I went through 12 years of primary and secondary education and learned for maybe 4 weeks on average a year about people of color/the Global South/anything  not European or North American in general I doubt I received a balanced view of the world.  And truthfully at this point, where I have control of my education I sort of refuse to take any courses dealing with European or American history unless I know the focus is on people of color. But back to my point.

I truly hope that Toronto doesn’t step down on this Afrocentric school idea. I also hope that black people in Toronto think a bit before they fuck something up that could be good for their children–  who wouldn’t care more about school if they are learning about themselves?

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4 Comments

  1. that would be an amazing place to go to school at.

  2. Hmm… But what would be wrong with integrating African history/geography/etc. into the school syllabus, i.e. simply combating the (alleged) Eurocentrism? Creating a new school seems like a strange way to fix the system.

    I can tell you why such a school would be a bad idea (assuming that this school would attract primarily black students):

    For the existing schools, it makes blacks an even smaller minority.

    For the new (Afrocentric) school, it means that — if the sad North American reality that black students on average come from poorer homes holds in Toronto — the school will probably be a “poor people’s school”, with lower academic standards and a less-respected degree. Not good. (This is why the separation argument holds.)

    The only argument I can see in favor of such a school is that the dropout rates of black students might be lower if they’re not in a minority at their school. I doubt the difference is strong enough to make this argument prevail, and I’d honestly like to see studies showing that (and to what degree) dropouts rates would actually be lower in such a case (given the same academic standards). Can you point me to any such study? (Please Cc me on my email address, *****)

    Best wishes,

    Lea

  3. I don’t have any studies… or at least not right now, but I’m research assistant for a professor in Education and Africana studies and I can ask her and cc you.

    Anyways, I just know that it is a much different situation going to school and having your heritage reaffirmed as opposed to shunned to the side except for minor tokenism. I think its important to realize that these sorts of schools are important for more than just the numbers, but for having a radically different pedagogy. I’m excited to see what happens with these schools.

    Oh by the way I edited your email address out of your post, just one of my policies.

  4. did they open it ? I’d love to see that. I think there is should be at least one in every european coutry where people of african descent have done some contribution.

    @ lea winemann there are Eurocentric school in every single african country and across the west indies , i should know I have been in one myself .I was the only one black in a school full of whites and this was in a black country. I am stating a fact and I am not passing a vendetta on anyone’s head.

    ther emere fact that an african language will be studied in dept and history of slavery and colonialimsm ( both tied to europe ) is important.

    in Paris there are Jewsih schools, i m Parisian born and I was born in a Jewish neighborhood. there are German schools and there are many english school now if that is not eurocentrism then what is this.


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