I found an interesting column today in the The Root, an online magazine that features black perspectives on the news of the day, about the Obama family’s search for a new school for Sasha and Malia.
The author, Meera Bowman-Johnson, writes:
Most parents struggle with where to send their kids to school. But the decision can be especially agonizing for upwardly mobile black parents. There are worries about low expectations from teachers and peer pressure to value coolness over studiousness. Inevitable accusations of “acting white.” Then there’s an extra pressure to ensure that your children continue to carry your family forward, rather than erase the gains of the past. And of course, there is the ever-present, if often unreasonable, expectation to lift your whole community along with your nuclear family as you climb.
Do you think the Obamas have any obligation to send their daughters to public school in D.C., given the school system’s challenges? (It doesn’t look like they will, judging from the news reports that I’ve seen.) What do you think about the author’s premise that upwardly mobile African-American families face extra pressure when making this decision? What sort of pressure have you experienced here in Oakland, when choosing a school for your child?
image from bobster1985’s site on flickr.com/creativecommons