Poetical activist and Ted speaker Malcolm London used his Ted talk to share an extract of his poem “High school training ground.” Written and performed in 2011 when Malcolm was still at high school, it’s full of raw truths that can make you uncomfortable, but nonetheless, needs to be heard. Whether you graduated this decade or some time ago, the relevance is still very much there for everyone.
Malcolm paints a pretty brutal picture of the public school system and the inequalities within the school’s walls. His talk is not about the curriculum which we go to school for, but the “training” that happens in-between. “This is a training ground where one group is taught to lead and the other is made to follow” says Malcolm. “Taught now that capitalism raises you but you have to step on someone else to get there. ” “A training ground to sort out the Regulars from the Honors, a reoccurring cycle built to recycle the trash of this system.
It’s disturbing, but it’s true. High-school is a place where labels are placed on kids who grow into adults who end up believe these labels to be true. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Barbara Corcoran’s Ted talk and how she had been taught to think of herself in a negative way. That was her high school training. We often complain about the injustices within society, but this is what we are being trained for and it needs to stop.
The full version of Malcolm’s talk is below which goes deeper into the inequalities of the school system.
What do you think? Do you agree with Malcolm’s version of high-school? Did you have a difference experience? Please share you thoughts in the comment box below.