The push for equality and diversity is a very important one. Despite all the advances in making more people of color visible and in turn highlighting the struggles and build in racism in this country, many still brand it all “too much”. Not understanding why its so important to continue this movement, we get hit with stories daily of people around the country and their micro AND macro-aggressions that tend to go unchecked by the media and people immediately around. For one mother in South Carolina she had to deal with some very entitled and unchecked people and their built in ignorance.
Jessica Blanchard’s 10 year old son attends Ebenezer Avenue Elementary in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The boy was recently on a field trip with with the school when he was the subject of some really racist interactions with his fellow students and school staff, during Black History Month no less. The mother says she was “livid” when she found what they told her son.
One teacher recorded a video from the field trip to Carroll School that showed the kids singing along to the words: “I like it when you fill the sack. I like it when you don’t talk back. Make money for me.”
The song was a clear reference to slavery and something they sang while working.
Speaking with FOX46, Blanchard said “I’m African American and my ancestors picked cotton,” she said. “Why would I want my son to pick cotton and think it’s fun?”
The Carroll School, which was build in 1929 by African Americans, is a center that helps teach African American history during the Great Depression. Blanchard said she supported the Carroll School but felt the lesson may have gone too far in regards to her son.
“I support the Carroll School. I support everything else about it,” Blanchard told FOX46. “But I don’t understand, at the end, why do you make it a point to pick cotton and sing those songs? I think it’s misguided, and maybe ignorance on their part.”
The school argued that the trip was not meant to be taken in that way and that it was for sure not “racist”. Their statement below:
“The Carroll School field experience is a unique learning opportunity for all 5th-grade students in Rock Hill Schools’ elementary schools,” Rock Hill Schools said in a statement provided to Fox News. “Students have been visiting the Carroll School for the past fifteen years as a part of studying the Great Depression in the school curriculum.
“The song that is sung by the students as they participate in picking cotton, as it was done in the Great Depression time period, was originally written by an African-American instructor who currently works with students at the Carroll School. He did not intend it to sound like, or in any way be a ‘slave song’ as it has been characterized. The lyrics came from his experience as an African-American farmer picking cotton and making money for his family in the Great Depression time period.
“The school district is currently working with the parent and The Carroll School instructors to review the farming activity and any associated songs sung during the activity to make sure that it is understood that in no way is the activity or any singing tied to slavery or singing ‘slave songs.'”