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Dr. Roland Davis Speaks to BC High

Brendan O'Connell '17, Contributor

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dsc_0023Dr. Roland Davis came to BC High on October 13 to discuss issues of race and prejudice. As he began his speech, he made sure to explain that he wanted the presentation to feel like a “conversation.” He described how he wanted the audience to participate in the conversation and did not want to be the sole person talking throughout the presentation.

Davis then went on to describe what a stereotype actually is, tying the definition into the idea that stereotypes exist throughout our daily lives. Davis described how at times we use stereotypes in our daily lives and do not realize the impact it has on others. As Davis advanced through his talk, he turned to using everyday examples as a way to demonstrate stereotypes being present in our lives. The false beliefs that all Asians eat rice and that African Americans are good at sports but not in school were just some of the many examples that Davis used in his speech. Davis even went on to describe how he has said these terms through his use of the example “the whitest white boy.” Davis later remarked that “the whitest white boy” was not an insult directed towards white people, but was another way to show stereotypes being present in our lives.

Dr. Davis then transitioned his discussion towards the word micro-aggression, which is an intentional or unintentional verbal insult that communicates negative and sometimes hostile messages towards others. Davis went into greater depths about the term and its negative effect upon his son, who was describe by his friends to be “not even black.”

He also discussed how the BC High community can act in these instances. In the case of a micro-aggression, Dr. Davis described how taking action and telling the offender that what he said is wrong and offensive is just one of the many ways the BC High community can combat these micro-aggressions.

After his speech, Dr. Davis opened the forum up for questions. Many students asked a wide array of questions about the increase in incarceration of black people, and the economic gap that is resulting in poor education. As the questions finished, Davis thanked his audience for their time and encouraged them to think about his message.

Dr. Davis later took part in a private talk with a smaller group of students after his presentation. He remarked how it was difficult speaking to a wide array of grades, as the material was difficult for younger kids to understand.

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Dr. Roland Davis Speaks to BC High