Skye Jackson to host Black Students Forum on Racism in Education


By Chinta Strausberg

Skye Jackson, the daughter of Yusef Jackson and granddaughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. is hosting a Black Students Forum on Racism in Education: Returning to School in 2020 town hall meeting on Monday, August 10 from 5-7pm (CST) to discuss racism against Blacks in predominantly white schools (PWS).

The panelists include Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Eddie Glaude, Jr., law professor Mehrsa Baradaran, Angela Rye, and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

Skye Jackson wears her lineage proudly and with similar commitments to fight against social and racist injustices as her father and grandfather.

An honor student, Skye Jackson is a senior attending the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, which has a student enrollment of 440, with Blacks making up 10-11 percent. Blacks, she said, are sometimes the target of racist remarks or social media postings.

SKYE JACKSON, 17, standing by the Freedom Statue at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, where her grandfather, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., is president and CEO. She is hosting a 5-7 p.m. (CST) town hall meeting Monday, August 10th, on exposing racism against Black students who attend predominantly white schools. (Photo by Chinta Strausberg)

That is why she is using her Instagram account to teach whites and others about the ignorance and cruelty of racism targeting Blacks at her school.

And, to some students, that is a problem especially since they come from very elite communities where there are usually no Blacks or a population of 0.1 percent African American. She gave as an example Darien, Connecticut that has the youngest adult population of any non-college town in that state.

Census data shows whites (non-Hispanic) represent 88.3 percent of Darien and Blacks (non-Hispanic) and Blacks represent 0.658 percent. Darien is one of the wealthiest communities in America, and according to Bloomberg, Darien is in the top 10 richest places in the nation.

At her school, Jackson said exercising white privilege is a norm to the majority students, even to the point of using social media to appear in blackface, using the “N” word after all they— the Blacks— were different, inferior and easy targets for racism rants, screenshots and verbal racist abuse.

The purpose of opening the Instagram page “is to highlight the voices of Black students, alumni, current and former faculty and show what it is really like to be Black at the school. I am hoping it can provide the context to improve our lives as Black students in the fall, and also to show what one does can really taint their school career…their time in high school.”

Jackson said she has heard the “N” word bantered around a few times in her presence. Those overly racist remarks and actions, she said, “goes back to the educational level of the students and how the administration and the school refuse to teach students how to be better and how to be good citizens and the significance of words like the ‘N’ word and the significance of being respectful of other kids which they are not.”

To register for the town hall meeting, click on this link:

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