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Denebola » Article » Race Week encourages conversation, stirs emotions
Editorials and Opinions

Race Week encourages conversation, stirs emotions

By Denebola
Published: April 2010

The recent assembly on race, during which a movie featuring METCO counselor Katani Sumner’s daughter was shown to all South students, has sparked heated discussions among students both throughout the school day in the classroom setting, as well as outside of it.

The assembly, which took place in the field house, also included a subsequent panel discussion during which teachers and students of different races discussed their experiences at South.

Denebola feels it is important for South to acknowledge the fact that although integrated, the school is still sharply divided along racial lines.

Bringing these differences to light, and openly recognizing them has facilitated conversations which generally would not occur, especially in the classroom.

Students brought up topics such as the effectiveness of the METCO program, the rarity of interracial friendship groups, the disparity in academic performance between minorities and other students, cultural differences between METCO students and Newton residents, as well as differences in the funding and quality of inner city schools and suburban schools.

The open atmosphere most teachers provided was very beneficial to students who would not generally feel comfortable discussing such a controversial and taboo topic.

It is in this kind of environment that problems may be highlighted and solutions proposed to an issue that continues to plague the United States.

Denebola feels that in the future, if more race discussions were to be held, more emphasis should be placed on the unity and equality of races rather than their differences. The ideas and principles behind Race Week, however, were valid and deserve commendation.

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