Ralph Ellison

Take a cue from Ralph Ellison: Don't demean minority students by overprotecting them

Take a cue from Ralph Ellison: Don't demean minority students by overprotecting them

In a 1967 interview, the African American novelist Ralph Ellison denounced the commonplace idea that blacks had been permanently "damaged" by slavery, segregation and institutional racism. Instead, Ellison insisted, blacks' survival in the face of discrimination and hatred demonstrated their strength and character.

"Any people who could endure all of that brutalization and keep together, who could undergo such dismemberment and resuscitate itself ... is obviously more than the sum of its brutalization," Ellison said. "I am not denying the negative things which have happened to us and which continue to happen, but I am compelled to reject all condescending,...

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