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Do Our Schools Pick On Children Of Color? Here's What One Very Creative Person Has To Say.

Actor Anna Deavere Smith is fearless. She's created one-woman performances around our toughest social issues, from health care to racial unrest, and here she talks about her work on how the educational system is failing children of color. Black students are three times as likely to be suspended as white ones, starting as early as preschool. And when you get suspended, your likelihood of graduating plummets. Her work reveals deep roots to the problem.

At 4:50, she talks about love and what people said to her when she asked them, "What would Jesus do?" She talks about the education system at 6:14 and how it's changed in negative ways even for privileged people.


The best part is at 10:36, when she shares a performance of Maxine Greene, who was a writer, teacher, and activist about the power of the arts in education. Deavere Smith quotes Greene as saying that schools "don't know about darkness, ambiguity, they don't know what children suffer." That seems like a really important place to start.