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This Isn'T The America I Thought I'D Find / Edition 1

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Overview

American society has long placed high expectations on our schools to advance this nation's prospects or to help resolve many of its ills. Throughout America's history, however, immigrant children have experienced difficulties adjusting to their new lives in our schools. This experience has been the fate of many African students who come to America with hopes of securing an excellent education, a better future, and a chance at the American dream; instead, they frequently find disappointment. Much of this frustration stems from the marginalization of African and African-American history and cultural studies in the curriculums of many American schools. The absence of any realistic exploration of Africa or Africans in American society has led to cases of harassment, teasing, and racially charged environments. This Isn't the America I Thought I'd Find explores the African student experience and offers advice for teachers seeking to facilitate a deeper appreciation of the emotional and historical connections between people of African descent and all Americans.

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Editorial Reviews

Allafrican.Com
The book is an important study of what goes on in urban high scools in this country. It is also a testament to the experiences of African students in American high schools. It's the first to focus entirely on this toic. While some [may] quarrel with the use of Afrocentricity as a model in dealing with tensions between African and African American students, unless something is done to address the problem African and African American students will carry those tensions with them into their adult lives, contributing to, not helping to dissolve the tensions that already exist between Africans and African Americans in America.
— Msia Kibona Clark, Washington, D.C.
Tcrecord
...Traoré and Lukens demonstrate that African and African American students can counteract an education system that "appears disinterested or obstructive to their success" (p.41)...Traoré's and Lukens' principal contribution may be in the reciprocal learning of their intervention that they demonstrate can help to create the kind of environment that enables immigrant and native-born students alike to be in better positions to achieve the educational and economic success they came to the United States seeking.
— Sarah Dryden-Peterson
Carl A. Grant
An insightful and thoughtful message on race, Afrocentric, and intercultural teaching and education. Teachers seeking to help both the migrant and immigrant students in their class will greatly benefit from a careful reading of this excellent book.
George J. Sefa Dei
The implications for educators in enhancing learning for a diverse group of learners in pluralistic contexts are clear, and the work surely adds to existing knowledge on the perils and desires of difference and offers possibilities of schooling…these [students]…particularly African students.
Asa G. Hilliard III
This isn't the America I Thought I'd Find is well written [and raises] a fresh perspective on the topic. For that alone, the documentation of the authors' observations should be of interest to many.
James Earl Davis
In this powerful, sometimes disturbing, and ultimately inspiring book, Traoré and Lukens demonstrate how shared historical, cultural, and personal experiences often blinded by ignorance and prejudice can serve as common ground for building trust and unity among students of African descent.
Allafrican.Com - Msia Kibona Clark
The book is an important study of what goes on in urban high scools in this country. It is also a testament to the experiences of African students in American high schools. It's the first to focus entirely on this toic. While some [may] quarrel with the use of Afrocentricity as a model in dealing with tensions between African and African American students, unless something is done to address the problem African and African American students will carry those tensions with them into their adult lives, contributing to, not helping to dissolve the tensions that already exist between Africans and African Americans in America.
Molefi Kete Asante
Traoré and Lukens are ahead of their time in analyzing an increasingly important theme in urban schools….teaching in a pluralistic society. …Indeed what [they] have done is to set the bar very high.
Tcrecord - Sarah Dryden-Peterson
...Traoré and Lukens demonstrate that African and African American students can counteract an education system that "appears disinterested or obstructive to their success" (p.41)...Traoré's and Lukens' principal contribution may be in the reciprocal learning of their intervention that they demonstrate can help to create the kind of environment that enables immigrant and native-born students alike to be in better positions to achieve the educational and economic success they came to the United States seeking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761834557
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 5/4/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 0.58 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Traoré, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Robert J. Lukens, Ph.D., J.D., is Co-Director of the Advocating on Behalf of Children Project at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, PA.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 List of Tables Chapter 2 Foreword Chapter 3 Preface Chapter 4 Acknowledgements Chapter 5 Introduction Chapter 6 1. "The Darkest Thing About Africa is America's Ignorance of It" Chapter 7 2. African Students Profiles—Previous and Current School Experiences Chapter 8 3. Myths and Misperceptions about Africa, or "I Don't Live in the Jungle" Chapter 9 4. Expectations and Disappointments: Immigrant Life in America—Better Education, Better Life, and "The Streets are Paved with Gold!" Chapter 10 5. Afro-American Student Profiles Chapter 11 6. The "White Elephant in the Room," or How Come Some of These Students Don't Know They're African? Chapter 12 7. Afrocentricity: Theory and Practical Implications Chapter 13 8. Making the Connection / Sharing a Heritage Chapter 14 9. Afrocentricity and Education Reforms Chapter 15 Appendix Chapter 16 Notes Chapter 17 References Chapter 18 Index Chapter 19 About the Authors

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2007

    This Isn¿t The America I Thought I¿d Find is one of Traoré & Lukens great gifts to the world: African immigrant high school students are shown to be a lens in understanding inner city African American Students

    America, the land of opportunity, home of the free, sweet land of liberty doesn¿t exist for many Africans who come to live here. The American Dream is false for them. Traoré & Lukens have written an extraordinary book, unique in its perspective, using Africans as a lens for understanding many of Americas social and cultural issues such as immigration, socio-economically depressed inner city communities, and the failures of Afro-American students in the cities of America. Rosemary Traoré & Robert Lukens live with African Students in an inner city Philadelphia school (Jackson high school) and discover their struggles to relate to their Afro-American peers and the many trials these kids face. But the ¿Land of the Free¿ myth remains alive for most African immigrants and when dashed they are dismayed. Hence the derivation of the title of the book (pg. 59), ¿I can¿t seem to find the America I thought I¿d find.¿ The authors then embark on a miraculous journey with the African students who come face-to-face with some of their Afro-American peers and find they have a great and lasting bond: Afrocentricity is not just a word but a way for them to know who they are and where they come from, what heritage precedes them. By making the connection to their African heritage, the students come to understand that they have more in common than previously suspected by either group. If this book had only been available to me when I was teaching inner city (New York City) middle school students in 1985-88-these words are gold. This Isn¿t The America I Thought I¿d Find is one of Traoré & Lukens great gifts to the world. Readers will discover the enormous wonder, the tough road to awakening, that occurs between Africans and Afro-Americans, and the implications it makes to America to look toward Africa, and Afrocentricity.

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