#NotYourMule

This idea that Black women are the perpetual mules of everyone else has been ingrained in our society. We see it in the media when all we see are Black women marching for Black lives. We see it portrayed in the media with Black women playing the help, the nanny, the supporting motherly character, or the best friend used simply to illuminate the main actress’s character. The image of the Black woman has been, historically speaking, the strong backbone, always working behind the scenes, sacrificing for the cause, or overextending herself for the sake of the family, without reciprocity. In … Read more

Lens of Awareness: Racism Outside of the Classroom

Something that comes with education, of any kind, is the tendency to find ways to apply it and allow it to inform the way we now view the world. These new understandings and connections are the drive that makes us eternal students. What is complex, especially in the vital and often difficult path of education that unpacks and explains the functions of racism and oppression in a White Supremacist system, is allowing this to begin to naturally shape the way you experience and analyze the world moving forward. People may differ from one set of lived experiences to another, however, … Read more

Advice for a White Ally

It starts with you. If you want to be an agent for positive change, your actions must be self-motivated. You have to start with yourself. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve incorporated biases that frame your perception of people of color. It’s difficult to come to terms with this, because no one wants to think they hold prejudices. But we all do. And we often exercise these prejudices without knowing. We make fundamental attribution errors, linking others’ actions to their social identities rather than their individual identities. We’ve evolved to think like this because it saves time and … Read more

Racism and Tornados

In a couple of days, I will graduate from learning about racism. I will complete the course with the choice of continuing to stay informed or not. I can run on the moving sidewalk, stand still, or forget about it all together. I will no longer be graded on the quality of my newfound knowledge, but the true evaluation will be how I use it to make a difference. A letter grade in a course is meaningless if I choose to stay silent in situations where my words will matter. I am more aware of my salient identities than I … Read more

Holding the Smog-Breathers Accountable

My mom was born in South Africa, and when I was in the fifth grade, everybody asked why I was not black. I remember thinking how ignorant these kids were, and wondering why they thought everybody born in Africa was automatically a person of color. There were times where I felt bullied, and I was uncertain about my identity. Here I was being told that I should be black, when the color of my skin was white. As a child, I did not see why there was so much importance placed on the color of ones skin. My mom always … Read more

November 8, 2016: The Week After

I cried when I found out the results of the 2016 presidential election. I cried hard. I fell asleep the night before quite early, because I was tired of being bombarded with political ads and the disgusting hate that I would see every day on Facebook. I went to bed early believing that I would wake up to Hillary Clinton being our next president. It didn’t happen that way and the several paragraphs that were posted by each person on Facebook proved how much people were truly upset. Most of them were from white people and the word “disappointment” was … Read more

Politics with Kids

Special Guest Post by Ginelle Wolfe ’16 I knew work would be tough the day after the election because I work with kids at an elementary school. Each teacher I talked to said they were not going to discuss the election, as the assumption is that most students would not even understand what happened. While I understand that approach, my situation is a little bit different. I teach English Language Development classes, so the majority of my students are not from the United States and none of their first languages are English; thus, their understanding of this election was the … Read more