Thirteen-year-old Jada Williams wrote an essay based on Frederick Douglass’ The Narrative of Life. She offended her English teacher and her mother eventually removed her from Rochester School #3. Here is one of the offenses:
“We are free to learn, and my advice to my peers, people of color and my generation, start making these white teachers accountable for instructing you,” said Jada Williams, reading from an essay…
“When I myself sit in a crowded classroom with no real concrete instruction is taking place, it makes the saying, ‘history does repeat itself’ all the more true,” Jada said.
Jada says she used the words “white teachers,” because those are Douglass’ words.
A 13 year old girl, Jada Williams, enters the Frederick Douglass essay contest. She writes an essay that is well thought out. Her essay makes connections between the past and present. It is written in the Douglass voice with present day verbiage. It not only points out the problems in education from her perspective, but it offers solutions to her peers.
From what I’m reading, Ms. Williams is a very good student. I believe she believes she is not being racist and this is not an issue about race, but of course it is.
It doesn’t matter what “color” the teacher is, it’s about teachers and parents. There are far more White teachers than Black, but there are far more White students. There’s another problem: there are far more Black parents with problem students than White parents with problem students. What Jada missed is appealing to the parents and placing equal if not greater blame there.
In Frederick Douglass’ day, Black parents would have done anything to give their students an education, and they would have expected their child to learn. We don’t see a lot of that going on today. Jada has a parent or parents who support her yearning to learn. Maybe coming from a nurturing background she is too young to understand the role of the parent.
Whatever…she is right. White teachers deserve criticism, White administrators deserve the same and every Black teacher who spews the garbage of racism and the NAACP, and leans on teacher’s unions to protect them as they dwaddle, deserves their huge share. All teachers have an education, many parents do not, so the blame goes to the teacher.
I’m not talking about whitewashing racism. It’s about teaching what makes a child successful in their adult years. Every child, Black or White or Other needs a solid base in American History/Civics, Mathematics and Capitalism and English. Nothing else matters.
No ethnicity will ever drag their neighborhoods out of the dregs of violence and poverty without being inspired by their country’s own aspirations, and yes, teach the racism then move on from it because in America, a child can become who he/she aspires to be, as Jada acknowledges in her essay. Without a background in math and without knowing how to read and write well, the neighborhood never changes. You can bet the schools won’t change when students roam the streets rather than the hallways. It just won’t happen.
For the many great teachers out there…those upset at the Leftist garbage they are forced to teach, we need to hear from you, even at the risk of losing your job. These are tough times. Educating the next generation is a daunting responsibility, but you accepted the challenge. Think of the generation we could release into society with the massive education funding going to history, math, reading and writing. Dump theater, music, gym, the health classes and their condoms and cucumbers. Turn out children with real skills and they’ll figure out how to be healthy, how to make it to Broadway and beyond.
As for the Rochester school system. What’s with ‘numbering’ your schools? It prompts an image of a jail cell. What child wants to say, I graduated Rochester #9? It’s indicative of a low expectation and zero aspiration. Surely there is someone aspirational you can find to name your educational facilities after. I’m waiting for the first Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas elementary or middle school or high school. Maybe there is one out there somewhere.
Apparently Jada is no longer in school. The atmosphere was threatening with a straight A student suddenly receiving Ds. The school refused to enter her essay in the contest it was written for, but the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York gave her the Spirit of Freedom award.
In the video below, after remarks about reading The Narrative of Life and how it prompted her to grab a dictionary for the words she had never heard before, she reads her essay and quotes Douglass. She says most of her peers cannot read or comprehend what they are “studying.” This was obviously an emotional experience for her, as it would be for any child, hearing how their race was considered ignorant and not worthy of teaching.
“When do we get off this rollercoaster? When the White teachers pass out phamplets, expect the students to read and understand the directions, and hand it in for a grade, the reality is, most of my peers cannot read and/or comprehend the material they have been provided, so I feel that not much has changed. Just different people, a different era, the same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the White men.
I suggest to my peers, people of color in my generation, to try to achieve what [inaudible] was achieved by African-Americans and abolishionists that paved the way for us so that you receive what is rightfully yours. Blood, sweat and tears have been shed for us to obtain any goals which we set for ourselves – never being afraid to excel and achieve because our ancestors have been [inaudible] are so, so, so wrong.
We are free to learn and my advice to my peers and people of color and my generation is start making these White teachers accountable. They chose this profession. They brag about their credentials, they brag about their tenure, so if you have so much experience find more productive ways to teach the “so-called unteachable.” ~ Jada Williams (more in the video)
Jada Williams Speaks About Reading Frederick Douglass (she reads her essay) (video)