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50th Edition, Education

Coexistence

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Denebola Staff, Volume 10
November 10, 1970

The discussion between black and white students Monday, November 2, brought into the open racial problems in Newton South. Newton is largely a lily white community; thus our school offers limited ethnic diversiy.
While the suburban attributes of Newton have been described as “the clean, the green and the serene” by one woman fighting against NCDF, students in its high schools realize a dynamic environment is a result of ethnic diversity, not ethnic sameness.
For the first time in this school, black students presented their criticism of Newton South and discussed a black history program taught by a black teacher as an idea for the school’s improvement.
Although there is a black history course in our school now, it is not taught by a black teacher.
Hopefully, as a result of including this proposal in the discussion of broader problems of race relations, enough awareness was created so the Social Studies Curriculum Review Board will consider such a change.
However, a more important change would be to include history from a black viewpoint, as part of the standard United States History course. For it is necessary to consider the history of ethnic groups if current problems are to be resolved through understanding rather than through ignorance and hate.
A black studies program involves a recognition of black culture nad history that has too often been suppressed and ignored by a “white racist society.”
However, the “white racist society” is in a period of rapid change where roles of society are being redefined. Some people conceive the future as two races separate by choice, while others envision a totally integrated society.
No matter which direction the society takes, one hopes that each person will be able to affirm his culture and be proud of it, while appreciating the differences of other cultures which can mold people into unique and beautiful individuals too.
One hopes a fundamental change will be for us to realize that beneath labels and epithets which tend to obscure human qualities in others, there are similarities among cultures which bind us together as humans, in one nation, on one planet.

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