Jonathan Kozol Richard Poirier - Essay

Richard Poirier

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["Free Schools"] convincingly suggests that a school only becomes "free" when it creates around it a community of conscience about … injustices and a will to struggle against them. The very form of the book—a kind of manual with advice on how to find a building, how to raise the money, recruit a faculty, set up a curriculum, with lists of contacts and leads—proves that difficulties can indeed be the seed of practical achievement rather than frustration, that anger can be transformed into energy. It also allows some unusally blunt assessments of possibilities. At one point Kozol offers the flat challenge that "either black people are dull, slow-witted, stupid and inferior, or else their schools are murderous....

(The entire section is 718 words.)