Keith Gilyard in his book Voices of the Self states a position about pluralism in education. Giving his own experience as well as others within the educational system as an example, Gilyard demonstrates what can happen if schools only acknowledge, accept, and represent the culture of the majority. Gilyard, as an African-American boy suffered the uprooting from his atmosphere to be placed in a ?divided by two? new environment. After he finished first grade, he and his family moved from Harlem to Queens. Both White-American and African-American children inhabited his new neighborhood, but they were divided in different school districts. Since his family lived within the range of the school where all White-American children lived; he had to attend that school. There was where the author started to feel the separation from his culture. Gilyard states that there are many other cultures other than the White-American in the U.S., such as the African-American culture, as well as different languages other than English, such is the Black English (a dialect from English), and they ought to be accepted in schools. The non-acceptance of children's culture in school will lead, for Gilyard, to loss of identity within school, and consequently to a search for one's identity in other places that may lead to bad experience in life. Moreover, Gilyard pursues goes beyond the school system when he talks about pluralism. With many references about American history during the late 60?s, he shows the pluralism within American society and the consequences of the non-acknowledgement, non-acceptance, and disrespect of this multiculturalism within this society.
To illustrate his loss of identity in school, Gilyard tells us about his first day of school in his new neighborhood Queens.
At the moment of introducing himself in front of his classmates Gilyard adopted a new personality. Since he could not find himself contained and represented in school, he was the only Black student in the...
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