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#205: 1619

This Sunday, The New York Times Magazine will devote its entire issue to The 1619 Project, which “aim
The Highlighter
#205: 1619
By Mark Isero • Issue #205 • View online
This Sunday, The New York Times Magazine will devote its entire issue to The 1619 Project, which “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.” This week’s lead article, “America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It One,” is one I’m confident is worth your time.
+ Highlighter Happy Hour #11 is approaching, and I’d love to see you there! HHH is a great way to deepen relationships with other loyal readers. We’re meeting Thursday, Sept. 5 at Room 389 in Oakland, beginning at 5:30 pm. Get your free ticket here!
+ One more thing: Thank you for your readership! More great people are subscribing, reading articles, emailing me your thoughts, urging friends not to miss an issue, attending Pop-Up Article Clubs, and getting the word out about the newsletter. I appreciate that we’re building this reading community.

America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It One
Whiteness on the Couch
Gracie, who belongs to loyal reader Sivan, enjoys mild roaring and grandiose yawning. Nominate your pet to appear in The Highlighter!
Gracie, who belongs to loyal reader Sivan, enjoys mild roaring and grandiose yawning. Nominate your pet to appear in The Highlighter!
Beloved: 8 Tributes To Toni Morrison
Data Boosts College Graduation Rates. But What About, You Know, Privacy?
+ Reader Annotations: Our conversation on school choice (#202, #203) is deepening. Loyal reader Nicki wrote:
School choice is so complex. I attended a meeting last fall, and a few white educators and Oakland residents shared their internal conflict re: quality schools and what schools their young children should go to. Do you compromise your own child’s access to quality education for the greater good, a move that is more aligned with your values? Will it even make a difference? Even when I discuss this topic with my partner, Joel, and ask him if he would send our hypothetical child to Castlemont High School, his response is a definitive “no.” Would I? I’m afraid I don’t have that much integrity because I don’t think I could bear to send my hypothetical child there either. For four years I worked at LPS Oakland, which is co-located with Castlemont High School, and remain connected with some current and former staff at Castlemont. There are some beautiful things happening at the campus, yet not enough for me to actively choose to send my own child there — and if it’s not good enough for my child, is it good enough to send other people’s children there?
Loyal reader Sivan shared these thoughts:
I wanted to respond to this topic because the data in the research is clear. 1) Peers matter: the smarter your peers are, the better you do; 2) White parents don’t want to send their kids to schools with high concentrations of students of color. This is likely because many people use race as a proxy for the ability of peers or overall perceptions of school resources at schools with students of color. School choice research continues to show that when parents have the choice, students end up in more segregated schools. This isn’t just because those are the closest schools to them, but there is a reason that people want to be in schools where they are not the minority, regardless of the color of their skin. The benefits of being in a diverse school should be that students learn how to live in a world with people who are different from them and don’t see those differences as bad — and that those with privilege can be the tide that lifts all boats. If it’s not intentional by everyone, though, I’m not sure it can work.
Thank you, Nicki and Sivan, for engaging deeply with the articles and pushing the conversation. Loyal readers, if an article inspires you, or makes you angry, or if you want to add your voice, please hit reply and tell me what you think.
There are few certain things in life. But one thing I know is true is that you’ve unfortunately reached the end of this week’s issue of The Highlighter. Use the thumbs below to tell me what you thought. Or hit reply and type me a quick message. Also, let’s please welcome our 8 new subscribers: Erik, Madeleine, Joe, Angie, Jodi, Tehya, Rene, and one other person. Hope the newsletter is a good match for you!
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