Poetry, School Libraries & Whiteness History

Whiteness6April is National Poetry Month and School Library Month. In addition, this has been observed by some as Whiteness History Month. To honor all three, I share a few words from the National Association for Multicultural Education:

Historically, many White immigrants have been accused of marginalizing other White immigrants…
demystifying the cultural complexity of people classified as White, and the hierarchy of groups created by racism, multicultural education will help White students understand their own history, as well as the fact that the current social discourses against diverse racial/ethnic groups are very similar to the discriminatory discourses and practices that their ancestors experienced in the past.
— more at NAME

I close with some lines of poetry and a reminder to support school libraries and other avenues for sharing diverse voices.

And Coyote struts down East 14th
feeling good
looking good
feeling the brown
melting into the brown that loiters
rapping with the brown in front of the Native American Health Center
talking that talk
of relocation from tribal nation
of recent immigration to the place some call the United States
home to many dislocated funky brown

ironic immigration

more accurate tribal nation to tribal nation
and Coyote sprinkles corn pollen in the four directions
to thank the tribal people

indigenous to what some call the state of California
the city of Oakland

for allowing use of their land.

— from “Blues-ing on the Brown Vibe,” a 1999 poem
from Dine/Navajo author Esther Belin

Remainder of “Blues-ing” at Poetry Foundation
More on Esther Belin
More Native American poets

The Education Town Hall broadcasts from Historic Anacostia
in Washington, DC, Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern
on We Act Radio.
Listen live via TuneIn.
Shows are archived for convenient listening shortly after broadcast.

The Education Town Hall BUS is a monthly program
organized by BadAss Teachers, United Opt Out, and SOS March.
The program regularly airs on the 4th Thursday of each month.

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