Still Need To Learn Moor

| Learning | June 20, 2014

(I’m teaching at an urban high school English and the majority of the student body is African-American. We are just beginning Othello. We just finished reading the first two scenes and we’re now discussing it. The students express questions that they have about their reading.)

Student #1: “I don’t understand what a ‘moor’ is. They keep talking about it, but the book doesn’t define it ever.”

Me: “Well, ‘moor’ is an Old English term to describe a black person.”

Student #2: “Are you for real? What kind of black man names himself ‘Othello’? He’s not really black, is he?”

Me: “Yes, he is, and everyone else is white.”

Student #2: “No way! They had black people back then?!”

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