AN EMPTY SPOON by Sunny Decker


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I went about to fil your/ mouth with an empty spoone: That is, to seeme to teach, not to teach."" The title is a sixteenth century referral and not reaching much of the time but learning a great deal is Sunny Decker during her two years in a Philadelphia ghetto high school. With a floating and disappearing population of 4000, most of whom, including the senior class president, couldn't read or write. Along with the empty seats and unanswered questions, there were those who could be reached, like Ethel ""so mean she made my mouth water."" Still Ethel wrote a haiku for her: ""I grab for my life/ Though death is not far away/ I died when I was born."" Mrs. Decker's remarks on the kids and on trying to connect with them are fresh on every page. And the whole impasse sharpened during the second year when blackness became a drastic issue. . . . Like Herndon's The Way It Spozed To Be, the way it was--real and relevant, bright, catchy and concerned.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row