Mom Says Teacher Told Son To Read ‘Blacker’

By Team BLAM


A Virginia high school English teacher is under investigation for allegedly asking the only black student in the class to read a poem in a “blacker” manner.


Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading aloud Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord” when teacher Marilyn Bart interrupted him.


“She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan — c’mon, blacker. I thought you were black,'” Shumate told The Washington Post.


When the 14-year-old student declined to continue reading the poem, Bart read it herself to demonstrate what she meant.


“She read the poem like a slave, basically,” Shumate told the Post. When he asked whether she thought all black people speak that way, he was reportedly told to take his seat and reprimanded for speaking out of turn.


The poem was written in 1940 about a black tenant thrown in jail for challenging a landlord.


“It’s very, very unprofessional,” Shumate told WJLA-TV. “It should not happen. She didn’t do it to any other kids. Why did she have to do it to me?”


The student brought the issue to his mother’s attention after the teacher reportedly singled him out again during a lesson about stereotypes. Shumate said Bart asked him to explain why blacks like grape soda and rap music.


Shumate’s mother, Nicole Page, told WAMU that she is “very sad” for her “child’s loss of innocence” through the experience. The teacher had also previously asked the student to rap out a poem by black rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, Page said.


“We’re in 2012 with the first African American president,” Page told WJLA-TV. “In this era how could such a statement be made, particularly by an English teacher?”

Read the full story here.

3 replies
  1. shena payne
    shena payne says:

    I agree! So sadden about both of these cases…….I hope the Martin family get the justice they so deserved! If the shoe was on the other foot and the kid was white and the guy who shot him was black he would be in jail without bond! We as a black community wish one day this ignorance will end but saddly not. This young man in class being told by his teacher to be blacker like she went to school on how to be black? For real?? Like u said Something gots to change and Barack can't do it alone. StayBlessed Stay strong Stay Black because it is BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Desdemonia
    Desdemonia says:

    The teacher has the mindset of many like her especially politicians. Say whatever they want that is negative, derogatory, racially biased, and so on, and then come and offer an apology. We all know that they are not apologetic. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. I guess she figured he would never tell about her unprofessional conduct in the classroom. I suppose she thought the press/media would never hear of her ignorant antics. Sad state of affairs but not surprising nor shocking. America the beautiful!

  3. K.O
    K.O says:

    I'm so tired…so sick and tired of our boys and our children being torn down. They allowed murder to happen to Trayvon Martin and now I read about this, where our children can't even get a decent education without being singled out and asked to "talk blacker". Something has got to change.

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