Resisting Oppressive Spaces within Paradigms
Chapter 9: Can I Have a Voice in the Nation’s Classroom?
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CAN I HAVE A VOICE IN THE NATION’S CLASSROOM?
I was with my father in a restaurant in the city of Oaxaca, where I live and work as a teacher and researcher in the public state university. My father was visiting me from suburban Chicago. It was Saturday, his last day here. We were pressed for time. My father had a 9:50 a.m. flight; and I had to make it to my 11:00 a.m. literature class with my students in the weekend module of the English teacher education program, today “The Tyger” by William Blake (1794/1983). “Anything but pork for him,” my father told the waitress.
She put on a noble smile.
“No pork,” my father said.
I asked for the American plate, as had my father, and to my surprise, I paused, pondering over a side of ham or bacon or nothing. Many years ago, as a second-year graduate student home for the summer, I had announced, probably at a Sunday breakfast at a pancake restaurant, that after having read The Autobiography of Malcolm X for the second time, I would give up eating pork. This would be my personal gesture of moral support for the ideals of this Black Muslim leader who had been assassinated when I was in kindergarten. My father and mother had looked at me as if I were the moon-man, but they congratulated me on my decisiveness. I...
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