9: Black and White and Dead All Over

THE CONFERENCE TABLE IS LITTERED WITH BAGELS, JUICE, and newspapers. Newspapers everywhere. Some are neatly folded, as I taught my students to do in our first lesson, the way I learned to do it so I could read the paper on the subway to high school. Even during rush hour, there I was, one hand with ink-stained fingertips and the other resting coolly on the metal railing overhead.

Each morning during the Drum Major Institute’s Summer Scholars program, I find these fourteen college students from community colleges and Ivy League schools and everywhere in between across the country hunched over their papers, desperately trying to finish reading in the thirty seconds it takes me to get my coffee, sit down, ...

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