Thursday, November 5, 2015

From a formerly unresponsive little Black girl

Thinking about little Black girls being unresponsive in class. 

When I stopped talking in class for a significant stretch of  my 4th grade year, even when addressed directly, Mrs. Talmage pulled me aside outside the classroom. She got mad and scolded me, but then she was also determined to get to the bottom of what was going on with me, because she'd noticed that something wasn't right. She met with my mom. They had conversations. They sat me down and made an agreement with me. They both kept tabs on me. They exchanged weekly reports on the progress of my behavior at home and at school. By the time I graduated 4th grade I was in a better state of mind, and I got my dog Madison as a reward. 

But all of that only happened because Mrs. Talmage took the initiative to be a compassionate educator rather than a warden. Imagine if she would've called a cop to come deal with me? Mrs. Talmage cared about me being okay in the long run, even more than she cared about me being obedient at that particular moment in time. Because she knew that something deeper and more significant was at the root of my behavior. "Disrespectful" or not, she treated me like a human being. As she should have.

Folks are out here really acting like it's easier, it's only natural, to brutalize a Black girl rather than to talk to her and figure out what's wrong. And nobody can see what's despicable, backwards, and unacceptable about that? Some of y'all are truly too far gone.


A formerly unresponsive little Black girl. A Black girl who was once a little Black girl, who was listened to and supported rather than manhandled and blamed for her own injuries.

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