Inequality In Mike Rose's I Just Wanna Be Average

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In Mike Rose’s, “I Just Wanna Be Average,” he expresses his opinion toward school that many students can relate with, “School can be a tremendously disorienting place” (Rose 3). Two former-students, Mike Rose and Maya Angleou, have shared this feeling of school being befuddling. Angelou experiences this when on her eighth grade graduation day a white man speaks very fondly of the white high school, which leaves Angelou and her black community feeling thwarted. Just as well, Rose understands the baffling feeling towards school because he grew up with teachers who would not engage with the students in vocational courses but would be over involved with honors students. Both Angelou and Rose have experienced inequality throughout their education, …show more content…
On Angelou’s eighth grade graduation day, she was hit with a realization that her black friends and classmates were looked down upon for their skin color. Edward Donleavy, a white school official, spoke proudly of the Central School, white high school, for their great education level and condemned Lafayette Country Training School, the black high school, as a school for the athletic, not the smart, by praising them only for their athletic accomplishments. As a result, while Donleavy was making his speech at the graduation, Angelou understood Donleavy’s real point was that, “the white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren’t even in on it) would try to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Louises” (Angelou 130). Simply because Angelou’s school was a black high school they did not receive the same improvements to their school Central School did. Without these upgrades to their education department, Lafayette Country Training High School would never have the same equal chances that Central School, the white high school, had. This discrimination can make any student who experiences the negative side of unequal treatment have a more difficult time in school. Similarly, Rose is familiar with this inequality in school because he was treated different for being in vocational classes. His teachers would not engage with the students or show interest in the student’s education, thus enabling the student’s from furthering their knowledge and their abilities to become successful. Not only did these obstructive teachers fail to help the student’s towards higher achievements, they destroyed the confidence of the students. While illuminating the aspects of vocational classes, Rose displays his lack of confidence by explaining that,

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