Whose Culture Is It Anyway: A Review and Critique

Knowledge of Our Skin

The color of our skin does not define who we are; however, it does allow us to acknowledge the diversity of our society. Acknowledging our differences allows people to build a strong foundation of community within a society. In the essay, “Whose Culture Is It Anyway?” Henry Louis Gates Jr. states that educators have “a very special task” in multiculturalism. Gates concept of promoting multiculturalism at schools to acknowledge the mixed ethnic student body is a positive move. A school administrator must help students acknowledge the diverse community they are associated in by using multicultural days for students to interact with their peers and by expanding multicultural activities to be held on weekends or evenings for family participation.

Gates argues that schools have a very special task is a vital point. In our schools, we have a high population of mix cultural heritage that needs to be acknowledged. America has become a growing society that is built upon a multicultural structure. Administrators have the responsibility to teach students of the multicultural society they live in. Students spend a third of their days in school where they interact with peers to improve community interaction. Educators need to acknowledge the fact that students should be aware of the different cultures and show students the diverse community they live in without forcing them. It’s more of a way for people to be understanding of other’s culture. Educators should not show one dominant culture like WASP as a “universal” culture, but show all the different cultures. Instead of teaching one dominant culture in America, we have to teach multiculturalism to students, since our society has become a mix of cultures.

School administrator must allow students to share the different cultural information with one another.  School administrators should consider the different cultures that exist within their schools. Multicultural Days could be a good start to show awareness of different ethnic groups. Students get a chance to open up and talk about their own culture among their peers. Children learn about different cultures from peer communication. Administrators should allow students to put up booths other than assemble as a better way to introduce a culture to students. Setting up booths for students to go by and admire the different cultural ethnics that are in their schools is very informative. Using booths allows students to have a choice in which cultural group they might have interest in learning about. Students would feel less tension from the school to make them learn about another culture. If students have the choice to learn about the different cultures, that would allow students to have a more enjoyable learning experience.

Educators should encourage cross mixing clubs to help students get out of their comfort zone and into a new environment. Students in different clubs should have a chance to explore the different cultural groups that are provided by the school. Students can interact with one another to see what is so interesting in other cultural clubs. Administrator can help remove segregation within the school community. This way student can teach one another about their own culture and see how much they know about their own culture by explaining it to other students. It gives the students the opportunity to share their cultural heritage with their peers. Club mixing with one another is a way to bring other students who are not participating in clubs to join. A student sometimes have more than one interest, and mixing the clubs helps allow the student to explore farther into different cultures they ever had the chance to before. Students can learn about one another as individuals other than cultural groups as well. Therefore, Club Mix days is one source of interaction between cultural awareness among high schools.

Family involvement plays a key role in a child’s connection to their knowledge of multiculturalism in their community. School administrators should consider allowing cultural days to be extended into evenings or weekends to allow family members to attend as well. A family that attends and learns about the different cultural ethnicities within their own community helps both parents and students.  In a more comfortable environment, students would be more accepting of the new knowledge that they are obtaining. Family can support the child to step out of their own cultural circle and enter different cultural circles. Family members are the most influential people a student can have. If families are aware of the different cultural groups, parents can set a positive role model for their children to be more accepting of different cultural groups. Not only will students benefit from their experience, but families could come together to learn from one another. Families can express their own individual cultural beliefs with the school, student body, and other families as well. This is a great form of community building and connection with different ethnic groups. Therefore, the family is one great role model that should be included in a child’s education in multiculturalism.

 Students in the United States will truly benefit from learning and participating in multicultural activities alongside their peers and family members. With the multicultural activities, students have an undemanding environment to connect with other students different cultures. Learning about different cultures can spark an interest within students and families to be more involved with one another. It will create a chance for families and students to bond with one another to share their knowledge, so students must learn to respect the cultures of other students. Once respect of one culture is created, then there is no fear of interaction between students. Without fear, then as a community we can co-operate and communicate with one another to build a strong community.


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