12th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival

Caste in the Classroom: The Education of Second-Class Citizens & Caste in the Classroom: The Education of Second-Class Citizens Talkback

Expired August 21, 2021 2:00 PM
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Two teens in Massachusetts wonder why they’re the only Black or Brown students in their calculus class. As they talk to “The Professor,” a friend’s uncle, he walks them through the development of this country’s racialized caste system and how it has become manifested in our school systems. The Professor enlightens them about some of the knowledge Africans brought to this continent and imparted to the wider population, only to have credit for these accomplishments ripped away. He describes the building of the US economy on the backs and wombs of enslaved Africans, white fear of rebellion, and white suppression of Black literacy. The teens learn how these systems of oppression continued post-slavery through sharecropping, peonage, imprisonment, convict leasing, and the ever-present threat of white violence. From the Jim Crow South to the de facto Jim Crow North, the Professor introduces a framework from civil rights and education activist Bob Moses called “sharecropper education”— a system in which the quality of children's education is proportional to the roles they are assigned at birth by caste. As they examine statistics from their own school district, the teens wonder how their community compares. Lastly, the boys and the Professor imagine some solutions to redesigning their district and the US education system writ large. 

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
  • Note
    Data Research: Emily Dexter
  • Director
    Janet Moses
  • Screenwriter
    Janet Moses, Leslie Brunetta, Young People's Project Math Literacy Workers
  • Producer
    Data for Better Schools Working Group, The Young People's Project
  • Filmmaker
    Janet Moses
  • Cast
    Trinidad Ramkissoon, Davidson Guerrier, Dean Ngo
  • Editor
    Marcus Hung, Chad Milner
  • Animator
    Diego Chaves
  • Music
    Jerry Jemmott, Ron Savage, Sean Fielder