Tone Death to Blackface in schools

Tone Death to Blackface:

Aren’t you tired of reading stories about white students in blackface? Don’t they know how offensive and hurtful these actions are? Do they even care? Are the tone death?

Blackface is the act of impersonating black people by painting your face black. Blackface became prevalent in the 1830s. Whites and other non-blacks used blackface to perpetuate stereotypes, many of which still exist today. Are we tone death to this type of racism?

The practice as a whole lasted until the early 1980s but has creepily become popular due to a sort of tone-deafness that is running rampant in our country. It’s not okay for you to use blackface to reenact the experiences of people of color. That’s our energy, let us have that.


And if you are questioning why blackface is offensive to PoC, you’re a “low key” racist.


Students of Color Step Up:

I commend these Brooklyn prep school students for using their voice to bring attention to these racist actions. No child should be subjected to this sort of trauma. We have been experiencing these types of trauma and systematic racism for over 400 years. Is there any end in sight? Why don’t our minds and lives matter?


Covington, Kentucky:

Insert the students in Covington, Ky. Much attention has been made about the standoff between Nick Sandmann (student) and Nathan Phillips (elder), that has received a ton of media attention, and one blog post won’t do it justice. However, what hasn’t be spoken about enough is the culture of the — school. We’ve seen countless pictures circulating that show a clear view of the disdain these kids and their school have for black lives, as they attend sporting events against African-American athletes while in blackface. Why aren’t we talking about this?


Selective Outrage:

I know it’s not all white people. I have some excellent friends and colleagues that are white. Their hearts are true. But honestly, these events are happening so much; I’m starting to lose track of who is who. I need more people, all people to speak up when events occur instead of remaining silent. Silence often equates to acceptance. I know most of you don’t accept some of the things that are happening, but why aren’t you speaking more loudly about these things?

Unfortunately, we live in a tone-deaf society. Often when we don’t address situations correctly the first time, we experience revisionist history. As a country, I don’t think we’ve ever effectively treated racism and injustice. Currently, any mention of racism and prejudice gets met with apprehension. There is this reluctance in our society to call things what they are. In turn, we dance around difficult conversations, until events come to a head and we’re forced to talk about things.

Author: Raymond J. Ankrum, Sr.

Mr. Ankrum is the current Superintendent of the Riverhead Charter School. Mr. Ankrum has gained notoriety as a school turnaround expert. He is enthusiastic about helping students from low (SES) find ways to end generational poverty through educational advocacy. If you believe PoC can end generational poverty by exercising educational opportunities, you have an ally in @Mr_Ankrum.

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