The Black Arts School And Its Afterlives

Joshua Bennett at Cabinet Magazine:

One of the more difficult parts of raising a Black child in the United States of America—and it bears mentioning from the beginning that the joys are innumerable—is the question of where they will go to school. Most of us know, through both memory and a wealth of empirical data testifying to this difficult truth, that the classroom is a battleground. It is a site of suffering. It is, in the first instance, a space wherein our hair, our diction, our social practices and modes of cognition are denigrated as a matter of institutional mission and everyday protocol. The Black aesthetic tradition, in one sense, is a single front in an ongoing war against this and other forms of asymmetrical violence against our children. In the poems and plays, stories and essays, we are mapping out a set of alternatives. Another world, another way that things might eventually be if we are brave.

more here.