Did he really just try to whitesplain, ME?!

So, it’s February and every year, I do a 30-part series where I give Black History facts as they relate to Spanish and other languages. I love this time of year! I get to share the African descended history that is embedded in language learning!

Every year, I add new information and this year, I decided to add the Moorish history in Spain (stay with me, this context is important to my sophisti-ratchet rant later). I talked about when the Moors arrived, where they came from, yada, yada, yada.

Weeeeeeellllllllllll…..I decided to share this info with the audience for a radio show I appear on weekly and it happened: I got whitesplained in a tweet.

Specifically this is what was shared:

Now, I didn’t share names and such because….why even, but let me break down a few things here and bring this foolishness right back to language!

  1. The moors are Berbers. This is an ethnic group indigenous to the continent of Africa as far south as the country of Mali. The Berbers can be found in at least 5 different countries on the continent.
  2. Ayi Kweh Armah wrote a book, Two Thousand Seasons, which although it is a fictional account, it details the intricate, interdependent history that is so complex, to pinpoint an “origin story” is really fruitless. Armah does a great job of appeasing the white gaze’s need for this, but still, this relationship legit pre-dates Jesus, so…..
  3. The soldier that led the charge from Africa into Spain was from Mali, the southernmost country to hold this ethnic group and furthest removed from the “mediterranean” espoused in the tweet above.

Now on to this whitesplaining thing:

Superficial digging into the poster’s profile reveals a self-identification as “castellano” who also espouses to be a scholar of African history. Why is this important? Well, let’s look at the argument from a scholar who self-identifies as a white woman:

“by denying race, educators are able also deny the ways in which we participate in the legitimation of Whiteness”

Castagno, 2008, p.329

She also states:

“most white educators are reluctant to name things that are perceived as uncomfortable or threatening to the established social order.”

Castagno, 2008, p. 315

These two quotes are from where I interpret this whitesplaining tweet. Of course, someone who self identifies of being from the dominant group would challenge any assertion that their history comingles with those whom they view as “inferior.” Of course there would be a perpetuation of the longstanding argument that North Africa isn’t really Africa including but not limited to removing the entire country of Egypt and placing it in it the Middle East because “heaven forbid” the cradle of civilization be associated with what you all have deemed “the dark continent.”

And here’s where the language flip comes in:

by giving the impression that Moorish history is Mediterranean history (which news flash, you do realize North Africa meets the Mediterranenan Sea?) instead of inherently African is to provide a way of perceiving Spanish history as absent of African influence which is incorrect and supremacist. If the Spanish-speaking, self-identified African scholar denies the African presence in Spain, what then is the perception of Africanness in the langauge in that same history? I’ll wait while you gather the argument around language that sits in the very white listening position this tweeter has…..

What this tweeter unknowingly (or maybe knowingly, who cares) did in this seemingly “let me school you” tweet was support my arguments around afrocentric language activisim. The white scholar uses the white argument to disprove and silence the Black presence and thereby, continuing to

“imbricate anti-idigenous and anti-Black perspectives”

Rosa and Flores, 2017, p.625

I’m calling BS on this tweet. I brought you scholarly support. I even offered books to read beyond the — ahem — helpful text provided in the OP.

Being a Black woman scholar in a white world can be exhausting…..but I will continue to challenge these supremacist perspectives for the good of my people. In fact, I didn’t respond to the dude. He’s not my audience. I came straight to you to do this unschooling. I don’t share this info because I’m waiting for the white scholar to “school me” back to hegemonic prescriptions. I share because my people will suffer from lack of knowledge AND afrocentric language activism

centers the Black students and their history in languages and focuses on the africanisms present in language

I’m quoting myself here

I’m putting us back into history, including in languages. The Moors were African. PERIODT. The tweeter’s discomfort with acknowledging this fully and trying to explain it away in efforts to boost a supremacist ego, no es cosa mía...so I will keep bringing African influences to the center of every single language conversation…….

Oh, and ’cause I’m a BRILLIANT scholar and you need to amp up your library to get this raciolinguistic history:

References

Castagno, A. E. (2008).  “I don’t want to hear that!”: Legitimizing Whiteness through silence in schools. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 39(3) 314-333. doi: 10.1111/j.1548-1492.2008.00024.x 

Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove Press.

Rosa, J. and Flores, N. (2017) Unsettling race and language: Toward a raciolinguistic perspective. Language in Society 46, 621-647. doi: 10.1017/S00474045117000562

Ruminations on supremacy, King and language…..

January is coming to a close and we have had supremacist insurrections, inaugurations and the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. This month has been filled with celebrations, fear and rememberances of our place as Black people in this country for sure.

But my work toils on. As I contemplate and reflect over these things and look forward to a month long celebration of all thimgs Blackity Black, I got thoughts and opinions.

Okay, transparency…all month I have been working on a research piece that I’m writing in both English and Spanish, and as I gather the literature, formulate my questions and offer my critique, I find myself asking myself (once again),

Does foreign langauge learning really want the Black child to be bilingual?

Now, before you go there. Peep my thought process: Current discussions around bilingualism reflect these issues:

  • the marginalization and trivialization of bilingualism among English Language Learners
  • the elitism of monolinguals seeking to become bilingual through the education system
  • the dialectical tension between these two

What is typically absent from this conversation is the Black child. Why is this important? There are arguments from both sides that directly impact the Black foreign langauge student in ways that are very different from the current discourse.

For the sake of this blog (and to not bore you with my academic prolestizing) I’ll focus on one: Additive bilingualism

Additive bilingualism wants students to be fully competent in two languages. But here’s the tea: it also assumes monolingualism is the norm and monolingualism typically perpetuates white supremacist language hierarchies.

Y que, Kami?! Now this is not just “playing a race card.” For real, the events of this past month have me dissecting ALL the places where supremacy just chillaxes and takes over (which is really EVERYwhere, but ‘notha post, ‘notha rant).

Although this argument focuses on the English language learner, it can be argued that the cultural racism present in perceptions of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), meets the Black foreign language student in the classroom thereby casting a dark shadow on additive bilingual abilities even with the monoglossic focus.

In other words, the way we speak is already seen as “substandard” in white supremacist language hierarchies, without the added stress of including a white presenting version of the foreign language we are learning. White supremacy in the foreign langauge classroom looks at the Black students as being in a double bind when it comes to language, so to go back to my original question above: Does foreign language learning really want the Black child to be bilingual? the answer is an EMPHATIC no.

No because the expectation is that we master the white presenting standard of language in both English and the new language and look at the ways in which our Africanisms emerge in both as an indicator that “we can’t do language” (TRIGGER: I know somebody reading this right now, has thought this or had a teacher tell them this).

Cultural language adaptibility takes a level of activism few folks want to dive in to…except me…my position as an afrocentric language activist will continue to put our culture on an equal playing field in the foreign language classroom, not just with pictures of Afrolationos in books, but authentic repsresentations of who we are in languages through:

  • how we walk
  • how we dance
  • how we write
  • how we style
  • and yes, HOW WE TALK

Can you imagine how DOPE your language class would have been if the words and sounds in the classroom sounded just like your grandmama’s neighborhood or your cousin’s house just in a differnt language?

Can you imagine how FLY it would be to know that the ways in which you flip and turn a phrase or slang in English can be applied equally in another language AND your teacher showed you how to do it?

I can, that’s why I do what I do………….

Fanon had a point, but y’all missed it with the “banking” conversation

Image pulled from https://www.theelephant.info/op-eds/2020/05/15/fanons-project-remains-unfinished-and-still-relevant-today/

I’m in the throes of writing a bilingual article. For those that know, you know I am reading more than my poor little eyes can take (seriously, I had to get reading glasses it has been so much). I’ve been following Nelson Flores for a minute, because his work around raciolinguistics has been giving me all the lives. In reading one of his articles, I came across a note about Frantz Fanon. This is it in sum:

During the colonial period and beyond there was an infantilization of Black French speakers by White French speaking colonizers that perpetuated a language hierarchy that supported white supremacy and oppression.

This is my own summary of the passage. See Rosa, J and Flores N. (2017) “Unsettling race and language: Toward a raciolinguistic perspective.” Language in Society 46, 621-647

Basically, White French speakers spoke to Black French speakers like children in their exchanges. (Remember how we used to be called “uppity” for sounding too educated or adult-like around Whites in the southern US?) In my classic #blackgirlnerdmagic, I had to go to the source. Sure enough, embedded in all the talk of pedagogy of the oppressed, Fanon discusses how language and language learning is a part of the oppressive tool.

So, why are few of us talking about this on larger platforms? I got some theories, but for now I’ll just highlight what this looks like in the foreign classroom.

The imbrication (overlap, y’all. I gotta put some use to these SAT words somewhere) of anti-Blackness, language elitism and supremacy happens right smack dab in the middle of the foreign langauge classroom for the Black student.

They enter the classroom, wearing the societal bias that comes with the use of AAVE. They sit at the desk to learn a language that fostered colonialism in the West. They are rarely shown the images of the folks who look like them within the colonial language they are learning who have their own version of an Africanized standard that probably meshes better with their undertsanding of language and could thereby make them more successful in bilingualism.

It’s anti-Blackness taught through colonial languages using anti-Black strategies. DAMN!

I know many times, folks read my blog and think: Is it really that serious, Kami? For me, yeah. I want to be able to allow Black children the ability to recognize the power they have in language. There are no deficits. AAVE is not a marker for remediation, Black voices are not a dismissal of non-Black voices, Afrocentric pedagogy is an educational tool that is REQUIRED for Black student success in the foreign language classroom.

Y’all ain’t really been doing it. Our babies have not really seen it. Administrators have not been supportive of it. BUT y’all need to see it.

So I’ll keep showing you.

Now, go re-read Fanon…..

FOR MY TEACHERS: “Relax, relate, release:” what does it mean to teach the “relational learner” in the foreign language classroom?”

NBC Studios

Being a Gen X, with the 1990s as the backdrop of my highschool and college years, the title brought me immediately to my memories from “A Different World:”

But what I actually want to begin to discuss is the notion of addressing the needs of relational learners in the language classroom. Why “relational learners” specifically? Well because it is right on brand with what I do: all things academic that are Blackity Black.

I jest, but seriously, there have been quite a few studies of the the Maori and their “wild child” (I swear the anthropologist used this EXACT term to describe them, but that’s ethnocentricity for another post) behaviors in the classroom. One of the things that was uncovered was that the way the Maori chidren learned was almost directly linked to their relationships in the classroom.

This trait is also VERY African. Think about it. What made the classes of your youth “fun?” Was it the way the teacher engaged you, the way you and the students engaged each other? Maybe a combination of the two? Either way, as a collectivistic people, the ways we engage through community and relationship drive how we move — even in the classroom. This is why, those classes and teachers that saw the fullness of our Black bodies in the classroom are held with the most fondest of memories. Why you think we go so hard for our HBCUs and such?!

AND, KAMI?

Okay, okay, the point: relational learners need to be acknowledged in the foreign classroom and not only by having them do “conversation shares.”

The relational learner in the foreign language classroom is clear that the classroom managment style acknowledges a sense of community. The teacher is fully invested and committed to creating AND NURTURING relationships with each and every one of the students and is equally invested in allowing community to build within the classroom by adopting practices that may not seem conventional to the US education model.

Let’s be clear creativity can be bred in chaos and creativity can drive language retention. It is an Afrocentric model we seldom tap into in the classroom, because we don’t want to be perceived as unable to manage our classes. We subconsciously (and might I add biasedly) believe that allowing Black children to be their full selves in the classroom will turn the whole class into East Side High.

This means, you need to be okay with your surprise observations catching what appears to be “bedlam” in your classroom and be able to explain why it’s necessary. You are managing it. By tapping into the innate desire of your students to develop relationships through the use of language.

You may be thinking “I already do that, Kami.” My kids are always talking to each other, we play games, we have fun, I’m having fun and they’re having fun. Yeah…..BUT…..it is fun based on what the “books” told you fun in the classroom should look like? ‘Cause, here’s the thing, afrocentric pedgagogy around play and relational learning in the classroom is antithetical to anything you may have learned in those books collecting dust on your shelves since undergrad and grad school.

Nobody talks about it, because it looks “wild” as that – ahem – lovely anthropologist noted in her Maori study from earlier in this blog. Why is everything innately African-based, afrocentric and black diasporic focused always described this way? Well…you know…..

Before I get tangential (well least further down this rabbit hole I’ve dug), consider what it looks like to read the literature about Afrocentric pedagogy. Start with Dr. Molefi Asante who coined the phrase. Read up on your contemporaries. I promise, the research is out there. Let’s get intentionally relational in our language classes this next quarter!

http://bit.ly/BBBMightyNetwork

Bilingual Brown Babies has curriuculum, activity guides and resources for your Afrocentric journey to bilingualism! Check out the Bilingual Brown Babies website for more details!

In the hands of my 11-year old…Dios nos bendiga….

In efforts to not only revive this blog, but also have some pretty vulnerable connections with my #blacklinguisticarmy, I have decided to put my language fate into the hands of my oldest son….

My face AFTER I posted the live video on YouTube last week

Last week, I, in a sadistic attempt to be spontaneous, posted a PUBLIC, LIVE video declaring I was going to have my son teach me Mandarin and inviting the world on my journey.

Yes, I temporarily lost my mind, but I only recovered it AFTER I hit “post.” So here we are.

I have begun to publicly learn Mandarin from my son and I am allowing you a chance to peek in. All the video lessons are live and these reactions, are in real time, not scripted.

I’m doing it because many of my clients have said,

“Well it’s easy for you to say that, you already know Spanish!”

or

“You haven’t had to struggle like this in language in a long a time.”

And they’re right. But, I want them to see I’m not some bilingual unicorn, language struggles come across the board. How else than to show you all how I am learning a language that has absolutely NO CONNECTION whatsoever to anything I’ve learned before.

But also, for my parents that think they can’t learn from their kids, I’m walking humility in real time too. What does it mean to see your child as elder in a skill you don’t have? How can I apply this very African principle to how we live in our house and model it for you too?

So, here we go. My first lesson. Y’all. My brain was done after 2 sentences. TWO!!!! Check us out:

This was just. lesson. one……..

Hasta pronto,

Raícismo cuando estoy viajando

Oh G*d. Here she goes…….

Now, before you start himmin’ and hawin’, remember the name of the blog site, mmmkay?

This may be controversial and totally antithetical to what you see folks doing on the Gram and what not, but I want to share a story about traveling while Black that may make you uncomfortable.

Es necesario decirte that I am not sharing it because I want you to feel uncomfortable, but to talk about some of the real things that happen despite the fact you might know the language and how our Blackness is still a factor AUNQUE hablas español.

I had been dying to go to Spain.  I had tried two other times prior to 2015.  Each time, the trip was set, I was paying my little money toward the trip and then…..a war broke out.

En serio, Desert Storm I AND II respectively.

Thanks, guys! (RIP George H.W. Bush)

But, in 2015, I finally got my chance!  I was on my way to Spain for Professional Development and I was AMPED!

I get to the location where we would be having our sessions and I look around the room at all the participants……the only butterscotch chip in the cookie si me sientes….

Women Female Feminism Lady Madam Friends Concept

No matter, I’ve been there before. I got this!

But then it happened.  As casually and as surprisingly as to be expected.  I was walking home from dinner with everyone and there was a man sitting on a ledge, watching us go by.  One by one, each woman in our group got a friendly “buenas noches” until he got to me, then it switched….to a proposition…yup, THAT kind of proposition.

Luckily I had a comeback!  Shut it ALL THE WAY DOWN! But many of us are not as fortunate.  

  • We’re shocked
  • We’re confused
  • We have no idea how to respond

 and some of you, didn’t even realize WHAT was said, because you’re not as adept in the language as you thought!

The thing is, nobody with me that night or even the next day could even understand what was happening racially in that moment.  The prevailing factor was that because of the color of my skin, it meant:

You could make assumptions.

He made assumptions and the women with me made assumptions.  You’ve heard them:

“I don’t think that’s what he meant.” (Because you, lady, have the ability to read into the mind of complete strangers)

“Maybe you misunderstood him” (Because somehow, it is my language ability that has me feeling that way and the misogynistic assumptions of this man)

“I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it” (Because….wait for it…..)

“You should be flattered!”

These are the things our classroom experiences with language don’t prep us for.  There’s no lesson on “how to defend your Blackness overseas” or “How to break stereotypes while traveling in Spanish”

But it’s something you need AND it’s something your child needs before they do that study abroad.

That’s why when I started doing more study abroad programs at my university, I advocated for Blacks students to have a safe space to talk about those real issues. They were able to take on those countries with a whole new bag of tricks. I gave them #blackawayfromhome swag.

Just like I give you #languageswag when you work with me.

Doing all the things in Spanish just like English.  

  • Momming
  • Working
  • Traveling
  • And just BEING Black in this world.

All while keeping your identity as priority and giving you the things you need in Spanish to do it.

Yes, love there is raícismo when you travel, but your full armor of #languageswag can deflect it!

What we call ourselves is important

I had an interesting dialogue with my advanced folks in my exclusive group this week around identity.  We went deep into the proper forms of address for folks who are descended from Latin American countries versus folks who speak Spanish.

Did you know that Latino/Latina/Latinx are really terms used in the United States to refer to people who are descendants of Latin American countries that CURRENTLY LIVE IN THE U.S.A.?

A lot of times we use titles and names to describe and may not know the full history behind the word (we know a little something about that, don’t we?). But it did get me to thinking:

Do we really know the history behind some of the names we give folks for the sake of identity?

Things that make you go “HMMMMMMMMM…….”

Do we really know the history of ethnocentrism and colonialism associated with terms like Hispanic, Latino/a/x, Mulato/a, etc? If we knew those histories, would we adjust how we ascribe name and title to folks?

There’s no need for me to go all into it in terms of history (y’all got Google University just like me and 2020 is my year to stop educating about oppression in the midst of my own oppression, ya feel me? I think very little of your cognitive ability if I feel I need to explain to you what I was able to find by reading). But here’s something to consider:

Ask the person you are speaking to in Spanish their country of origin.  Are they:

  • ¿Venezolano?
  • ¿Hondureño?
  • ¿Salvadoreño?
  • ¿Guatemalteco
  • ¿Mexicano?
  • ¿Puertorriqueño?
  • ¿Dominicano?

Now even those these have a bit of colonialism behind them (did the Quechua decide to name themselves Peruvian?), but trust me, just like us, it makes a difference to call folks how they want to be named!

“It’s been a long time….” evidently folks been losing their minds during that time!

040317-news-national-maxine-waters

Sooooooooooo… I know it’s been a minute since I have posted over here. But you know, it’s 2020, time to tweak the vision and whatnot, and evidently, folks have been dipping further and further into misinformation when it comes to Blacks and language than I thought I could ever imagine.

Yes, this will be a bit of a rant. But we need a new walk in this decade year, mi gente!

La historia for the those who need backstory:

A sister/colleague and myself are prepping for a major presentation this Spring. We call ourselves getting some informal intel around our topic and she happens upon a social media group where somebody was fussing about language discrimination.

Yes it’s important to note the person was Black (duh, you did catch the name of this blog page, right?). Yes it is important to note this is a multilingual language discrimination accusation at hand.

Now that you got the backstory, I can jump into where my rant starts. So this person is fussing about how a company requiring someone be bilingual for a job is a form of language discrimination. My colleague casually (and appropriately) suggests this person take a few classes to bone up on the language for the job.

Then it happened. That comment. The one that people think is claiming victimhood when really it is steeped white, heteronormative, cis-male oppressive language:

Why I should I have to learn their language?! Any job that requires me to have to learn their language is just trying to ice me out of a job!

Bruh. Really?! Did you really just say that?

Okay. I get it. As a Black woman, I know there are countless oppressive and microaggressive tactics that are imposed on black and brown bodies that introduce spikes, hurdles and obstacles in this game called life. But as someone who has been studying this, I gotta call foul on an intentional “ice out” because as this poster stated “they already know we can’t speak that stuff.”

My people. Mi gente. Kinfolk. We BEEN doing this language thing.

We were multilingual before multilingual was even a thing.

Before colonialism and the “rape of Africa” we were:

  • Speaking Portuguese before the Portuguese got there
  • Speaking Dutch before the Dutch got there.
  • Hell, there were folks in Kush fluent in Greek before they stole their first thought from our libraries. (yeah, I said it!)

You know what. Let me stop typing. I’ll just let you hear what I had to say about this mess:

My bad, y’all it is fifteen minutes. But would you rather watch this for fifteen minutes or read for 15 minutes?!

We have to get to a place where we remember our linguistic legacy, y’all.

We need to remember that language is ours.

We need to remember that we are built to speak multiple languages

We need to remember that nommo comes right out of Afrocentricity. That means the power of the word is in us. It IS us.

I want you to tap back into your ancestral power of multilingualism. TODAY!

I need to do better about posting more blogs for y’all. I can’t be coming on here ranting for the people all the time! Now that my business is running a bit more smoothly, I’m coming on here with more stuff to say!

Hasta pronto mi gente,

Our History with Language

Gazette28G

The bottom runaway slave announcement speaks particularly to a French slave who also speaks English. Makes me wonder, why was it important to note she was bilingual? (more on THAT in another blog)

In the process of completing the literature for research, an historic artifact was uncovered: a posting for a runaway slave which indicated the multiple languages the slave spoke (see above).  Advertisements for runaways placed in mid-18th century newspapers made frequent reference to their proficiencies in German, French, Spanish, Irish and Dutch. Conversely, servants who were monolingual in English were so identified, as if that was something unusual or noteworthy (Read, 1937).

This got me thinking, is there anything anywhere that shows how long African Americans in particular have been speaking more than one language fluently?  The true answer is unclear.  But I did find some information about bilingual Africans in North Carolina during our period of enslavement.  I decided to write about it:

Newton (2010) discusses the presence of Gaelic-speaking Africans in North Carolina during the period of enslavement.  In his historical account, Newton describes an interaction between an African slave and an Irishman just arriving to the United States: “the Irishman assumes the slave is Irish and the slave in turn is able to imitate the Irishman’s accent, suggesting the instability of linguistic identities as well as the necessity to nuance racial categories” (Newton, 2010, p. 98).  This anecdote supports Newton’s argument that “racialism was the only dominant notion of identity to downgrade or neglect the role of language” (Newton, 2010, p. 96).  The speaking of Gaelic presumably served a functional purpose.  But the functionality can be seen as two-fold.  First, it allowed the African slaves to be able to engage with the Irish settlers at the basic communicative level.  But secondly, as inferred by the anecdote by Newton, it allowed the enslaved African to be able to use language as a tool of social maneuvering, allowing the use of language to function also as a means of transcending the racial barriers set in place by the enslavement hierarchy thus making “the disparity between language as identity and race as identity” (Newton, 2010, p. 99) less clear.

This passage from my research uncovers fascinating information about the presence of bilingual African Americans dating back as far as slavery!  There is space (I have already taken up with my own research) to discuss how African Americans used bilingualism as functional tool for survival and transience, that I know I have never seen before.  I know I am a bit of  a language geek so this may excite me waaaaaaay more than it excites you, but hey, I’m still going to share it.  Who knows, you may get excited about it too!

 

 

Paying attention…are you?

I was perusing through social media and came across this image that struck a nerve:

Children in classroom

There are couple things that I see here and they all relate to why I chose to create this blog.  First, the use of the books.  There is a rhetorical message being sent that the books are stacked under the children the way they are.  Even more telling is the Black child, has no books.  To me, this speaks to the dangers of the academic achievement gap discussion.  Yes, there is one, I don’t deny that.  But what systems are in place in order to perpetuate its existence?  Continue the divide? Maintain the inequities?  More importantly, what role are you playing in the midst of all of that?  Do you sit back and shake your head at the atrocities from the comforts of your own privilege? Do you turn your head and look at funny cat memes hoping that the problem will eventually fix itself?  Do you march right into the thick of the issue and flip tables and shake down “educational crooks” in order to incite change?  Or, are you a combination of those depending on whether or not it’s in your community, someone else’s community, your child, or their children?

The second thing that drew me to the image: look at what the children are drawing on the board.  Despite the fact that two of the children have the books to help them reach more of the board, they are drawing stars. STARS. But the child in the middle with seemingly the least access to the board is drawing the ENTIRE GALAXY!  Why does this matter, Dr. Anderson?  You seem to be making a big to do about this picture.

What I do is language.  I am the driving force behind the Bilingual Brown Babies movement, which is growing everyday.  But what you may not realize is that I know from my experience as a teacher and linguist that there is a phenomenal pool of linguists being overlooked merely because of lack of access.  My own children, still in their single digit ages, have vocabulary on a 5th grade level (in two languages) and are reading beyond their grade level.  Could you imagine if more immersive language programs were implemented in what have been deemed “low performing” schools what that could do to the passing rates for all these state assessments?  I can.  There is a school in my city, with one of the lowest passing rates for the state assessments.  They introduced dual immersion to the school 3 years.  Those students just took the state assessment for the first time and the overall school performance skyrocketed…from one class.

Language is necessary for addressing some of these educational issues.  I truly believe bilingualism is the tool to unleash the galaxies in the minds of our Black children.