Racial question was one of the main problems in 19 century. The day of the abolition of slavery in 1865 was the best day in the life of people who were restricted and discriminated. Still, the remains of discrimination are present in the modern world and people try to combat them by means of different methods. Linda Howard is a 19 year old girl with great educational potential, from good family and with a great number of friends who belong to different races. The main purpose of the paper is to discuss the biracial identity of people on the example of Linda Howard and the view on the problem from inside.
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Linda Howard’s attitude to race: whether she is indifferent
Sometimes, people try to stress on their indifference in the relations to some problems, still, they are bothered with the issue greatly. The same happens with Linda Howard. On the one hand, she is not frustrated or disappointed about her background, on the other hand, it is impossible to say that she is indifferent about her race. Linda’s relation to her race may be easily presented by quoting her words:
I come from a long heritage. I am of French, English, Irish, Dutch, Canadian, and African descent. I do not really use race. I always say, ‘My father is Black, my mother is White, I am mixed. But I am an American; I am human. That is my race; I part of human race (Nieto, Bode & Bode, 2008, p. 92).
It may be said with confidence that Linda cared about her race that it is important to her and she is proud that she is mixed. Linda’s words may be understood that she does not care about people’s race (and her personal race as well) as she does not treat people according to their belonging either to black or white.
There are a lot of biracial people in the modern world. The problem is how you treat yourself. Most people proud their being the representatives of biracial; the others have doubts whether they belong to White or Black people. Some people may consider them white and do not accept black roots, the understanding of others may be versa (Rockquemore, Brunsma, & Feagin, 2007). So, it may be concluded that Linda cares about her race greatly and respects her heritage. She considers her neither black nor white, she is mixed. Still, she does not consider the racial factor a dominant in people’s relations and it is one of the straight of the being a human.
The affirmation of Linda’s identity from personal point of view. Specific examples
The main problem in Linda’s life is when people wrongly identify her. Being the person with lateral thinking, Linda has a lot of friends who belong to different nations and she knows them. Linda is usually insulted when she is called either Black or Hispanic. The only she is answering, “I am Black and White… I am both” (Nieto, Bode & Bode, 2008, p.93). She wonders why people cannot just ask the racial belonging to know it for sure and do not just speculate upon it. Linda presents an example when her boss, being her teacher for a year before the situation, called her Spanish. She was insulted as it was not the strange person, but one who closely communicated with her for a year.
If I were one of Linda’s teachers, I would not try to guess her identity, as she is neither White nor Black, when she smiles she looks like Chinese and it may be difficult for me to guess her identity. The direct question is incorrect, moreover, there may be a number of students with doubtful race. One of the methods which I would like to use is to give all students a task to describe their families. Such essay writing task would be both helpful from the educational point of view and the necessary information may be gathered. Moreover, students may be asked to write a paper on their friends. The racial identity may be discussed in the kind of essay. Such differentiation should be made only for a teacher to know without any visual differentiation of students in class as all people are equal.
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Teachers’ lessons in Linda’s life. What are the implications for curriculum? For pitched? For relationship with students?
The most influential people in Linda’s life are her parents. She states that her family is the best. One of the main factors that points to the unity of family for Linda is a dinner. Linda’s family usually has dinner together and it is important for them. I would like to honor family dinners in such a way as Linda’s family does it. The other lesson that I would like to remember is the attitude to curriculum. “Grades are not that important. To me, they are just something on a piece of paper” (Nieto, Bode & Bode, 2008, p.98) Linda says, and I like such attitude. We should better look on the effort people make to get knowledge than on the grades that are received. Pressley (2003) is also sure that effort is more important than grade. People will use their efforts in future while reaching their aims while grades will be something on the paper lying on the shelf.
Moreover, it was the family that taught Linda to treat people of different nationalities equally. People have the right either to like some people or dislike them; still, it is not racism. Racism is when people think that the representatives of other races have no right to enter their space (Leonardo, 2009). Racism should be eradicated in the modern world as all people are equal, and it is one of the main lessons Linda’s family showed her. No matter what race people belong to, they should be treated according to their human qualities but not to the color of skin.
Linda’s family is “the center” of her life. The influence of family on learning abilities
Linda’s father is an educated person as thanks to his knowledge and abilities he reached the respected position. Her mother is also on the prestigious position and it is very important for Linda. Seeing the example of parents, Linda wants to reach the same results and she is sure to do this. The main lesson the family presented to a girl is that everything in this life depends on her and the efforts she will make are important. Parents read books to Linda from her first days and she considers it was one of the main factors that influenced her attitude to education. It may be concluded that the main aim in Linda’s education is to know more than to get high grades as to have a high grade is easier than make an effort and learn additional information.
Skills the school may handle
School is the place that should strictly implant the best humane qualities of people. Racial identity is one of the main issues that should be properly discussed while lessons. Teachers should handle to students that all people are equal and it is inadmissible to treat anybody according to the color of skin or other racial features. Personal example should be the main strategy in this relation (Jensen, 2008). Moreover, school should implement in students’ heads that school is not the last establishment where education may be get. The whole life is a school where mistakes will be punished severely than grammar and spelling ones. Sylvia Griffin (2002) once said “Maybe it is a time for learning so we will be ready for the life to come. Maybe this life is a school” and the asked a question, “What good is an education if it does not have a use after school is over?” (Griffin, 2002, p.178). This information should be handled and explained to students at school.
In conclusion, the family is one of the main factors that influences people’s attitude to life. The life of Linda Howard was presented as an example as the relation in the family and attitude between relatives may create a lateral thinking person with the desire to learn and get a good job in future, free from prejudices that bother most people live. The example of Linda’s life showed that it is family that states personal convictions about relation to people. No matter how people identify others, it is important that you should properly identify yourself and treat others like you want to be treated. School is the place where values stated at home should be supported, if they are humane. In addition, learning is the process that does not finish after college and you marks cost nothing if you do not have inner desire to learn.
Griffin, S. (2002). Hellside Elementary School. New York: Media Creations.
Jensen, E. (2008). Super Teaching: Over 1000 Practical Strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Leonardo, Z. (2009). Race, Whiteness, and Education. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Nieto, S., Bode, P., & Bode, P. (2008). Affirming diversity: the sociopolitical context of multicultural education. London: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Pressley, M. (2003). Motivating primary-grade students. New York: Guilford Press.
Rockquemore, K., Brunsma, D, L. & Feagin., J, R. (2007). Beyond Black: biracial identity in America. Lankham: Rowman & Littlefield.