Anon in Oakland
While shopping for a book in Oakland (anyone have a copy of Sex and the Office I could borrow?), the shopkeeper briefly commented on a book the woman in front of me was buying.
I listened in. The customer had been a middle school teacher in Oakland for twenty years before a career change, and before that, she had grown up in Oakland and been to schools in the flats and the hills. "It's different," she said. "Really different. In the flats, they cared about us. In the hills...Why is it do you think that before, when a bunch of black men were put in a one room shack to learn, they learned. They knew how to read, to write, to add. They didn't have anything, and they still learned that."
She went on to tell us something her mom said to her recently, something worth noting so I wrote it down lest I forget.