From the Publisher
"A balanced debate on the pros and cons of integration and its impact on the education of African American children." —Booklist
"A must-read. . . . A tribute to unsung dreamkeepers, and a guide for those who look beyond the statistics for pieces of crystal." —Emerge
"Foster lets teachers tell their stories, and their words are moving . . . powerful, and true." —Teacher Magazine
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
How has the teaching profession been experienced and understood by black teachers? To answer her question, Foster (Unrelated Kin) conducted 20 "life history" interviews with black teachers between 1988 and 1996. Of interest not only to black teachers, parents and school administrators, Black Teachers on Teaching gives all readers frank firsthand reactions to school integration and its results for teachers and students, as well as an overview of blacks in education over much of this past century. For many of these teachers, integration has been a failure, not only depriving black children of the dedicated instruction of black teachers but also resulting in the firing or displacement of black staff. One interviewee recounts being sent to an east Texas school to fulfill legal requirements of integration, only to spend six months in an office, having been refused a teaching assignment because of the prejudice of white colleagues and protesting parents. Meanwhile, white teachers maintained their right to teach in the newly integrated schools. Over the years, many of these black teachers noted that bright black students were scorned or ignored by their white teachers and socially discriminated against by their white classmates. Many blacks of average ability equal to that of their white counterparts were relegated to special education or remedial classes. There are a couple of interviews that are superficial and could have been excluded, but for the most part Foster provides frontline reports on subjects that many people know only from a distance. (Feb.)
Through 20 "life history interviews," Foster (Growing Up African American in Catholic Schools, Teachers Coll. Pr., 1996) provides a look at how black teachers feel about teaching. She begins with "The Elders," who for the most part began teaching in the 1920s-40s. These six describe their own schooling as well as their teaching experiences during the beginnings of integration. "The Veterans" follow, detailing current trends and practices and sharing their stories and advice. Two "Novices" express their enthusiasm for teaching. While each narrative is different, certain themes run throughout the book, such as the need to encourage students-especially black students-to challenge themselves continuously. What's surprising is the number of interviewees who praise certain aspects of segregation. Foster will open some eyes to the reality of inequality in education. Recommended for most libraries, especially those with an emphasis on education.-Terry A. Christener, Hutchinson P.L., Kan.
Interviews with 21 black educators born between 1905 and 1973, provide a candid look at the politics and philosophies of educating
black children over the last 50 years. The veteran teachers describe
the transition from segregated to integrated classrooms, while their
younger colleagues reflect on the legacy left by these pioneers, and
debate the advantages and disadvantages of education in integrated
schools. No index.
Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.