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It starts at home

To the editor,

Carsten Knox's article "A matter of principle" (June7) about Wade Smith was a great read and I hope to see more sincere discussion on this. There is so much to say but keeping it brief, I agree with Patrick Kakembo. Cocooning or quarantining issues in visibly impoverished communities, where a great number of residents are generational blacks, allows two things to happen: It keeps the issues segregated from mainstream, therefore reducing the options and resources that could be applied, and it allows for abuse and neglect to continue to flourish with impunity, eroding the integrity of the family.

Wade Smith has an interpretation of Africentricity that is akin to starting to build a bridge over deep waters. Having worked with impoverished black issues for years, it is clear to me that the Nova Scotia black community needs its own Department of Community Services/Family Services.

Issues of poverty predispose children's attitudes toward education more that any other single factor. Smith neglects to address the issues of families in poverty. By ignoring violence, drugs and poverty in visibly poor communities, Smith is neglecting the first rule of school: Come prepared.

Start education in the home during the formative years and then let's worry about an all-black school. Aspirations for higher education start in the home, in the family, in the community, long before the age of five and kindergarten.

By Gayle McIntyre

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