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ERIC Number: EJ861865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8055
Coda: The Slow Fuse of Change--Obama, the Schools, Imagination, and Convergence
Greene, Maxine
Harvard Educational Review, v79 n2 p396-398 Sum 2009
The author began writing this essay the day after waves of euphoria swept over what appeared to be a profoundly altered public space. Americans had seen the most diverse gathering of people coming freely together to affirm a common purpose no one could quite yet define. No one had instructed them to come out in the cold of that inauguration morning; there was neither prize nor penalty involved. And yet, for their own reasons and moved by their own private hopes, they chose themselves as newcomers to a community-in-the-making, working to find what they had in common and what brought them to that shared space. Was it Barack Obama's charisma, his way of speaking, his choice of words? Was it the appeal of his family, the propriety of those little girls, the obvious bond he shared with Michelle? Or was it the sense that a time of apathy and felt powerlessness was over? Was there a promise in that iteration of "change"--a promise of direction, of hopes to be fulfilled at last? There seemed to be clues in the euphoria, efforts to light that slow fuse of possibility. The presence of veterans of the struggle for civil rights at Obama's inauguration lit many fuses of memory. Images returned--of fire hoses; of beatings; of the little girls in Birmingham; of the Selma march and the other long, hot marches; of the Mississippi murders; of the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King. Perhaps it requires an act of imagination to make meaningful the suffering, the sacrifices. In classrooms, the question of what can be done now that Americans have a president who says "we" and who speaks of "our" responsibility may become central. The author contends that people need imagination. People need visions of the possible and of the unexpected. People need to act on the promises of that cold morning, stimulus or no, obstacles or no. To educate, to change, people need to converge.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi