A Virginia high school English teacher is currently under investigation for allegedly asking the only African American student in the class to read a poem in a “blacker” manner.
The HuffingtonPost.com reports:
Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says his teacher Marilyn Bart requested him to read Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord” aloud and interrupted him when he didn’t read it “black” enough.
“She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan — c’mon, blacker. I thought you were black,’” Shumate told The Washington Post.
When the 14-year-old student declined to continue reading the poem, Bart decided to read it to the class to demonstrate what she meant.
“She read the poem like a slave, basically,” Shumate told the Post. Shumate asked whether she thought all black people speak that way, in which he was quickly told to take his seat and reprimanded for speaking out of turn.
“The Ballad of the Landlord” was written in 1940 about a black tenant thrown in jail for challenging a landlord. Not quite the poem connected with an ignorant monologue.
“It’s very, very unprofessional,” Shumate told WJLA-TV. “It should not happen. She didn’t do it to any other kids. Why did she have to do it to me?”
The student later brought the issue to his mother’s attention after the teacher reportedly singled him out again during a lesson about stereotypes. His teacher asked Bart to explain why blacks like grape soda and rap music.
Shumate’s mother, Nicole Page, told the press that she is “very sad” for her “child’s loss of innocence” through the experience. The teacher had also previously asked the student to rap out a poem by black rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, Page said.
“We’re in 2012 with the first African American president,” Page told WJLA-TV. “In this era how could such a statement be made, particularly by an English teacher?”
Wowzers. Of course, MSDTV will keep you posted. Stay Tuned.