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Educators and psychologists from across the country met in a conference at the Ed School Friday and Saturday in an effort to discover ways of increasing the respectability of the black dialect in America.
The conference, which was formally entitled "The Language Problems of the Urban Child," was held under the joint sponsorship of the Black Student Union and the Ed School as well as other local educational organizations. It was the first meeting of its type in the Boston area.
Willie Bouldin, co-chairman of the conference, said Saturday that the major focus of the meeting to find ways of altering the WASP-oriented educational establishment so that it can better benefit the needs of black urban children.
Bouldin said that many schools do not understand black culture. "A lot of teachers think that a child is dumb or slow it he talks in the black dialect at school," he said. Bouldin also said that schools and testing programs must accept the validity of the black dialect and adjust to it.
Robert Williams, a black psychologist from Washington University in St. Louis who spoke to the convention, said Saturday that white psychologists are largely responsible for the educational system's inability to adjust to black culture. Williams said that white psychologists who don't understand blacks develop theories about black culture and then plagiarize the work of black psychologists to defend their theories.
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