The School Of Failure, By D. Watkins

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In “The School of Failure”, author D. Watkins gives an address to the problem of disparities in black education. Watkins grew up in Baltimore, a city with extensive problems within the school system. We begin the story by looking at his 13 year old nephew Butta, who is currently enrolled in a Baltimore middle school. Butta spends his day in a room with about 30-35 other kids, run by a sub where they can do anything they want. He is not receiving an education, along with countless other children in Baltimore. Throughout the article, the author proclaims that less fortunate children, especially black children, are set up for failure. In my essay, I will provide an analysis of the various rhetorical devices Watkins used to persuade …show more content…

Watkins continuously uses words like criminal, jail, and psych ward to describe the school. This not only appeals to the reader's emotions, but gives a bit of imagery. When most people imagine a school, they imagine a safe and clean environment where kids sit at desks and learn. However, in Watkins description of the school, it is none of those things. It is loathsome. Kids are allowed to do whatever they please. There are bars on the windows, music blasting, card games instead of worksheets. The constant comparison to a school to jail just goes to show how bad it really is for these kids and why they act up. Watkins did a superb job with his use of hyperboles to connect with the reader's …show more content…

In this section, Watkins declares that “slaves spent their days cooking, cleaning, being raped, beaten, sweating, and lynched…” while white children received an education. This is a paragraph that goes on and on with no period. This is a rhetorical device also used by MLK in his Letter From Birmingham Jail. Both authors address heavy topics of slavery, lynching, rape, and other atrocities with a giant run-on sentence. These sentences are exhausting for the reader, which is exactly the emotion Watkins wants to convey. He feels restless and exhausted that these problems still exist today. Watkins, however, follows this paragraph up with a time frame. He claims that black Americans have a 244 year disadvantage. This heightens the sense of urgency, because 244 years is a very long time. This is a very emotionally targeted paragraph, and perhaps the most

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