Silencing Black Girls: A Texas Schoolgirl’s Story

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Silencing Black Girls (Link)

Colleen Winn

I am a child of the sixties and seventies with my social consciousness starting to take cognizance by the late 70’s. My experiences with my surroundings were colored and shielded by the lenses created by my parents which were in direct opposition to each other. My world was monochromatic and the effect of our relationships were nuanced by our social, educational, and gender stature.

The fallout from the U.S. Supreme Courts 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision had not really trickled down to many of the schools in Texas so they remained virtually segregated. Rather they were equal or not, I had no sound basis for comparison. My reality was not affected by the debate of equal access or separate but equal. My reality was affected by the fact that I was growing up in the 5th Ward section of Houston, Texas and even more real; I was growing up in the “projects.” I realized years later that teachers, and others not from this reality, saw me as damaged goods with not much of a prosperous future.

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