Friday, February 13, 2009
Workshop: Busing to Basketball
I went to a workshop this week in the tech pride room. It was titled “Basketball and Busing” and Marc Burnet spoke about growing up African American in Tennessee and how he handled integration. He had to change elementary schools because of the integration rule and had to start new in a mainly all white school on the other side of town. He even had to move into what he called the "projects" because this location was closer to school. He faced much racism and hardship growing up, but he said basketball kept him level headed. The basketball coach would even make the African American players run extra in hopes they would quit because they just were not accepted by the white crowd. This backfired and the African American players only got better at the sport. I really enjoyed the speaker today and his honesty with the subject. Also, Mr. Burnet said that sometimes he would have to walk home after basketball practice at night through the nice white neighborhoods. Sometimes people would stop him and ask him what he was doing there and if he was stealing something. It is just so horrible to think how colored people were treated and still are treated. Mr. Burnet also said that busing to school really changed the whole aspect in his town. The kids from the “projects” were all loaded onto a bus and brought to school where all the middle class white children were waiting and watching them to get off the bus. Mr. Burnet said that the white children treated the kids from the “projects” like trash and that he got into many fights because he was constantly called names and verbally abused by the white children and even the teachers. I feel like I have learned more about the African American culture and how horribly they were once treated. This speech definitely benefited me and I plan on attending more.