Here's my first post for my summer class. I'm sorry we talked about this so much in class already, Ann.
I think it's interesting to note that Smagorinsky states within the first page that while the slogan "celebrate diversity" is all over our schools (a phrase that makes my skin crawl), people don't practice it. S/he says this is because people are not open-minded enough to do so. This automatically made me look critically at this article because I don't think it's fair to assume that people are closed minded, or choose to be ignorant and that's why we don't "celebrate" multiculturalism. I feel like a more logical cause for this would be that people simply don't understand how to celebrate it, much less comprehend what specifically diversity is. It's not fair to blame the population for not understanding something that even some "experts" can't agree on. However, beyond this, I agreed with the author, although it was hard not to since it really seemed like just 13 pages of questions that aren't answered. Valid questions they may be, but it left me feeling more frustrated and a little more lost.
One thing stuck out, and this was something that has been in the back of my mind since I began the program. I feel like in terms of multicultural literature, there will always be this predicament in which teachers choose multicultural texts at the cost of historical and artistic aspects. This is not to say that I want to teach the canon only, or think that it should be the only thing taught by any means. What I'm saying is that texts are not being chosen for either their great writing, use of literary techniques, or the importance to society. Instead they are chosen solely because they're not about white people. This is where my dislike of Toni Morrison comes in. Sure, she writes (somewhat) controversial things about black people, but her writing ability falls short of inspiring. And I certainly don't think that all authors in the canon are great writers either. I'm looking at you, Shakespeare.
In my fuzzy dream world, I still feel like it's possible to incorporate artistic ability with multicultural topics into lessons and even traditional texts. Isn't this one of the goals of literature after all: to express overarching themes, feelings and social situations across cultures and history?