Mother Says Son Expelled From Primarily White School After Voicing Concerns About 'Fences' Reading
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Mother Says Son Expelled From Primarily White School After Voicing Concerns About 'Fences' Reading

A controversy surrounding one of August Wilson’s most prolific pieces of work is brewing in North Carolina.

In a New York Times article posted this week, Faith Fox revealed that her son, Jamel, was expelled from his Providence Day School, a mostly white institution in Charlotte, North Carolina, after she issued a complaint after learning his English class was going to be studying August Wilson’s Fences as part of the curriculum.

Fox was worried that incorporating Fences in her son’s curriculum would potentially lead to stereotyping Black families. The acclaimed play, which examines racism in 1950s America, includes racial slurs of which Fox revealed she imagined her son’s mostly white class at reading the dialogue out loud.

Jamel also expressed discomfort at reading Fences in his class.

“It’s really awkward being in a classroom of majority-white students when those words come up,” he said, “because they just look at you and laugh at you, talk about you as soon as you leave class. I can’t really do anything because I’m usually the only Black person there.”

Fox was informed that her son was expelled from the Providence Day School the day after Thanksgiving.

“You can have the important conversations about race and segregation without destroying the confidence and self-esteem of your Black students and the Black population,” Ms. Fox said in an interview.

Leigh Dyer, a spokeswoman for the school, accused Fox of “multiple personal attacks against a person of color in our school administration, causing that person to feel bullied, harassed and unsafe.”

However, Fox denies this, stating the school faculty is trying to make her look “like an angry, ranting Black woman.” and being disingenuous in their stance on racial inclusion.

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