Nikole Hannah-Jones is my favorite journalist and my second-favorite famous person (after Bryan Stevenson). Here she is being interviewed by Terry Gross for Fresh Air (~45 mins) about school segregation and her article, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City” (from Extras #46). Ms. Hannah-Jones argues that segregation will continue to exist in our country “as long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children.” (Want more NHJ? Check out Extras #47, Extras #65, and Extras #4 — her gut-wrenching This American Life piece from July 2015.)
“One of the things I’ve done in my work is show the hypocrisy of progressive people who say they believe in equality, but when it comes to their individual choices about where they’re going to live and where they’re going to send their children, they make very different decisions.”
You can read the article here: http://j.mp/2jejEqu. There’s also a chance that it’ll be included in Iserotope Extras, a weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles about race, education, and culture. Feel free to subscribe!
The article is well-researched, well-written, and deeply disturbing.
Students who spend their careers in segregated schools can look forward to a life on the margins, according to a 2014 study on the long-term impacts of school desegregation by University of California, Berkeley economist Rucker Johnson. They are more likely to be poor. They are more likely to go to jail. They are less likely to graduate from high school, to go to college, and to finish if they go. They are more likely to live in segregated neighborhoods as adults.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is my new hero. She’s the author of “Segregation Now,” the ProPublica and Atlantic Monthly piece (that you must read!) about the resegregation of schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Here she is in an interview on Democracy Now. She connects her recent article with this week’s Supreme Court case, Schuette v. BAMN, which allowed Michigan voters to amend their state constitution to disallow race as a factor in college admission.
Here’s a quote that resonated with me:
I think it’s very obvious, if you just look just strictly at the facts, that we still have a racialized K-12 system, and that Black and Brown students tend to be in schools where they are receiving an inferior education. They have a less-rigorous curriculum. They’re less likely to get access to classes that will help them in college, such as Advanced Placement Physics, higher-level Math, and they are most likely to be taught by inexperienced teachers.
Later in the interview, when discussing Brown v. Board of Education, Ms. Hannah-Jones says, “Resources follow white students in this country….Today that’s still the case. We have not eliminated that connection between resources and race.”