“‘I love myself!’the group of mostly black children shouted in unison. ‘I love my hair, I love my skin!’ When it was time to settle down, their teacher raised her fist in a black power salute. The students did the same, and the room hushed. As children filed out of the cramped school auditorium on their way to class, they walked by posters of Colin Kaepernick and Harriet Tubman.
It was a typical morning at Ember Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, an Afrocentric school that sits in a squat building on a quiet block in a neighborhood long known as a center of black political power.
Though New York City has tried to desegregate its schools in fits and starts since the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the school system is now one of the most segregated in the nation. But rather than pushing for integration, some black parents in Bedford-Stuyvesant are choosing an alternative: schools explicitly designed for black children.
Afrocentric schools have been championed by black educators who had traumatic experiences with integration as far back as the 1960s and by young black families who say they recently experienced coded racism and marginalization in integrated schools. Both groups have been disappointed by decades of efforts to address inequities in America’s largest school system…”
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