Separation or Segregation?


| July-August 2009


Critics of Afrocentric anything have traditionally betrayed a separation anxiety, as if there were no line between forced segregation and voluntary experimentation. In Toronto, where the dropout rate for black students is a staggering 40 percent, a controversial new Afrocentric school will test different ways of engaging struggling students. This Magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2009) reports that the school’s supporters, many of whom are African Canadian parents and educators, want to move the debate beyond what they see as knee-jerk fears rooted in a different time and place. “People ask where is the evidence that it works,” says George Dei, a professor who has written extensively on race and education. “I want to know where is the evidence that it doesn’t.”

Toronto has built an identity around its multiculturalism, and for some the school threatens that. For others, the plight of black students puts the lie to Toronto’s boasts of inclusion. “It’s not teaching subjects but teaching people,” says Carl James, director of York University’s Center for Education and Community. “That means thinking of them in terms of their race, their class, their community, everything.”



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter