White Fragility: The Secondhand Smoke of Racism in Public Education

Education is really a caste system and all children suffer from it.

A class full of children does work in school in this pre-Covid image by CDC on Unsplash

“Politeness as filtered through fragility and supremacy isn’t about manners. It’s about a methodology of controlling the conversation.” — Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Woman that a Movement Forgot

A history of Black efforts to educate Black children

Photo: Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site, TradingCardsNPS, Creative Commons license

The downside of desegregation

How to fix the dysfunction in public education

Robin DeAngelo (photo: Unitarian Universalist Association, Creative Commons license)

“Weaponized weakness”

bell hooks (Photo: Alex Lozupone (Tduk), Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons)

What I learned in school

Edith Bazile when she was a 13-year-old BPS student.

The conversation is not about white people

Viewing Black children from a deficit lens

The T-shirt is not enough

Malcolm X (photo: Rogelio A. Galaviz, Creative Commons license)

Why there aren’t enough Black teachers

Edith Bazile as a new teacher at Dorchester High School, September 1979. She had applied a year earlier after graduating from Northeastern University but was not hired. The Black Educators Alliance of Massachusetts (BEAM) and others strongly advocated that Boston Public Schools stop the hiring discrimination against Black applicants, and the next time she applied, she got the job.


James Baldwin (photo: Allan warren, Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons

More by Edith Bazile: