Langston Hughes poem asked to be read “blacker” by a high school teacher to her student (Video)

By on Mar 19, 2012 in Education, Lifestyle, United States Comments

A high school student in Falls Church, Virginia recently claimed that his English teacher asked him to read aloud a Langston Hughes poem in a “blacker” manner, as shown in the video below, and the case now being investigated.

George C. Marshall High School ninth-grade
student Jordan Shumate

Image Credit: WJLA-TV video

As noted at US news sites on Saturday, March 17, 2012, a ninth-grade student at George C. Marshall High School named Jordan Shumate identified his teacher as the Marilyn Bart, whom he said interrupted him while he is reciting the poem.

According to reports, the incident happened early this month and the Langston Hughes poem is “Ballad of the Landlord“, which was written in 1940 and is about a black tenant thrown in jail for challenging a deadbeat landlord.

“When I read it in my normal voice, she told me to read it blacker,” Shumate, 14, was quoted telling to WJLA-TV, who is the only African American in their class; and later told his mother, Nicole Cober Page.

“It’s very, very unprofessional. It should not happen. She didn’t do it to any other kids. Why did she have to do it to me?” Shumate added, noting that he was again singled out to explain why African American people like grape soda and rap music.

“We’re in 2012 with the first African American president. In this era how could such a statement be made, particularly by an English teacher.” Ms. Page was quoted during the interview, adding that she was humiliated for her son.

Marshall High School administrators are taking these allegations seriously and school officials are vigorously pursuing an investigation of these incidents.” John Torre of Fairfax County Public Schools was quoted as saying.

Report of a George C. Marshall High School student claiming that his teacher asked
him to recite a Langston Hughes poem in a ‘blacker’ way

Video Credit: WJLA-TV

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