In order to ensure African American children understand importance of education, African American parents should provide them with moral and psychological support, as well as to teach them value their individuality.
While the case of Brown vs. Board has raised serious response in society, it is yet under doubt, whether changes in the social structure of education and changes in race attitudes in the public educational system have occurred. The importance of this work is in an attempt to partially shift the emphasis from direct race attitudes towards African American children. The accent should be made on what African American parents should do to ensure their children understand the importance of education. The issue will be considered through several aspects:
– significance of education in general;
– psychological preparation of the child to real-life environment;
– meaning of the segregated schools’ factor.
The complexity of the present issue is in the fact that it implies the conjunction of the problems from the areas of psychology, racism and education. In order to offer specific actions to African American parents one should closely analyze certain situations arising within the African American education framework. However, based on the reading ‘Acting right’, one may come to conclusion that it is easier for the African American child to avoid public education or for African American parents to do their best to provide their child with home-based educational opportunities. On the contrary, avoiding education is unacceptable in the modern environment, where availability of education is made higher, and the significance of education increases daily. Educating at school, which is traditionally called ‘white’ due to the prevalence of Caucasian race pupils in it, will be the first challenge which a child will have to overcome in order to adjust to the reality of life. This is why parents should provide the child with the opportunity to study at school. It is also the primary parents’ obligation to morally support the child in studies and to avoid missing school.
The importance of education for an African American child in this sense is providing the child with the confidence in his uniqueness and his ability to achieve considerable results in education. The article states that remarkable accomplishments of African American pupils are usually given attention through the prism of ‘acting white refrain’. Moral stability is needed in order for the child not to lose individuality and striving for achievements. This is another aspect of psychological training, through which the child goes within the school environment. In this sense parents should stand on the child’s side in protecting his (her) individuality and teaching him (her) to value it.
Educating child in a segregated school might partially look as the best solution for the child and may save African American family from the stress through which the child will go in the mixed school. For the child to become totally prepared for the adult life, he (she) is recommended to go through the difficulties of the mixed school. African American parents should not choose the easiest way, understanding the race issues existing within the society; this is why sending the child to a common public school may serve the best gateway for resolution of the child’s psychological issues. The story described in the article is another proof for the fact, that changing attitudes of people, which come with age, will finally work for the benefit of the child. The process of education is the combination of approaches and instruments, under which the child should learn to be flexible, but not to weaken under their pressure. Acting ‘right’ and not acting ‘white’ is what the child should learn and to what the African American child should adhere; without going through the education process this psychological adjustment will not occur.
The meaning of education for African American children in the mixed school environment is not only in creating solid basis for further life-long career development. The significance of education is in providing the child with serious psychological stability and moral strength in facing challenges connected with the race issues. Adhering to the thought that avoiding difficulties in education is the best instrument of bringing up the child should not be supposed appropriate. In order to ensure the child understand education’ importance, African American parents should provide the child with sufficient moral support, without avoiding education and helping the child value his individuality without being weakened by the pressing ‘white’ environment.