It is sorrowful to me that high school literature curriculum for most of America, specifically California has not changed. To be frank, it is still very much White. I have been a youth leader and tutor for humanities, history and literature for the past two years and I am appalled at the homework I have been assisting teenagers with. I have students inquiring about #kylahspring or the origins of the #AfricanAmerican people of the diaspora, including the inception of the indegenious people yet teachers are still assigning #CatcherInTheRye or #TheGreatGatsby, which are essentially prejudiced pieces of literature. Indicatively, I have not ascertained one piece of diverse or neoteric work being popularized into their curriculum written by a BIPOC. #America loves to say that it’s changing for the better, yet in many aspects, when it comes to education, we are eons behind the rest of the world. Ultimately, I believe that will be our downfall.
I hurt from the pain I see.
I can’t stop these tears that awash my face.
There is a terrorist attack happening,
And It’s on my people.
My people are being
Treated like animals,
Treated as If we don’t exist,
As If we don’t matter.
I am lost,
I am somewhere.
My body longs for freedom.
To soar above the clouds,
Away from oppression,
Away from man.
I long to call for help,
To call a SOS.
But the people I would normally call,
In a time of need,
Are intent on persecuting me.
I see no win.
I see no escape.
I feel my people’s pain.
I hear their cry.
Will the Pharoahs of the world ever let us out of our bonds?
How long before God hears our prayer?
I am even being hunted in God’s sanctuary!
When will my people find release?
When will my people ever be avenged?
“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my right here at home.” -Muhammad Ali
So I have some things to say.
Today in sunny northern california (Vacaville to be precise) my sister was driving towards the local grocery store. My mother sent her to pick up a couple of items. After dropping me off at the gym, she went on her journey to the store.
My sister later narrates that she saw a parking space near the front. So she turns on the signal, and drives to pull in the parking space. My sister stops the car, and calls out to the driver when he steps out of the car. She says, “Sir, did you not see that I was pulling in?” The older white man walks toward my sister and starts to yell at the top of his lungs. These are his words precisely;
“You nigger bitch! I can take what I want! What are you going to do about it Nigger Nigger Nigger!” My sister tells me that she is so shocked that she is staying in the car trying to calm down. Others are staring, and she is becoming more agitated and embarrassed. She comes home and tells my mother, father, and me what had happened.
Afterward she comes and sits by my side, and just keep shaking her head. She looks at me, and I know what she wants to say. I can see it in her eyes. They are saying why? Why would someone approach me like that?
People like to choke things up to road rage, people losing their temper, and saying things out of context.
But I’m not.
When I’m angry at a white person I don’t start yelling derogatory names like, “cracker,” or question your family lineage. So why should you do the same.
I’m sick. I’m sick and tired of hearing this still going on. I’m sick and tired of it being 2015, and people still think they have a right to talk to my younger sister that way. It gets old.
let me introduce myself.
You see I’ve been kind,
of sound mind,
and always on time;
But no more.
Give me a minute, a moment,
a second for you to understand my plea.
I can’t really call it a plea because I don’t
care if you see.
I don’t care,
If this makes the hair stand up on your neck.
I don’t care
If this gives you chill bumps on your arms.
You see, I am beautiful.
And no I’m not 5’5 125 and blonde.
No I am not,
I’m proud to have hips, thighs, and seductive eyes.
I’m glad to be tall.
I’m glad to have breasts, a swagger, and a sweet behind that ain’t going no where.
I’m glad to have melanin in my skin and don’t need to bend.
I’m glad that I come from a culture a country a history
so rich, so grand that you couldn’t possibly understand.
I’m so glad that my people had to go through trials and tribulations,
separation of families, and dynasties
that only made us,
that made me stronger.
Now understand chattel slavery wasn’t an ideal way to make us stronger,
but you know, I guess it’s my people fault for being an inferior race and all.
But I shouldn’t jest,
my mind seems to digress.
I’m not sorry if I don’t cower in fear.
I’m not sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear.
Save your pity,
your crocodile tears.
I’m through being patient.
You see the world I live in thinks from time to time to stereotype
to call me names so that I know my place.
The world I live in thinks it’s okay to tell other girls, and women
to lighten yourself a bit,
to wear your hair a certain way,
and in some states to call me bae.
In some places it’s okay to STILL call my father,
a grown man with a family boy.
In some states it’s okay to shoot at black boys, and men because you think they may harm you when in all honestly they die following orders, and rules THEY demand of you.
In some states it’s okay to shoot and beat a black woman on the street just for asking why you want to arrest her.
In some states it’s okay to pull over two black young girls leaving the beach, and put your hands in their privates for the world to see just because they were speeding.
In some states it’s okay to call me a nigger, darkie, sexual fiend, that needs a iron fist and a ruling hand.
Oh, I’m sorry it was in the past so it means that I shouldn’t offend your delicate sensibilities.
Again my sincerest apologies.
Someone please come and clean up this sorry lot.
these words I jot,
on the spot,
should hopefully educate a tot.
“Racism is a man’s greatest threat to man-the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” Abraham Joshua Heschel
Good morning world!
I hope all is well. The reason I haven’t posted for a couple of days is because I’ve been really busy.
But I’m here so now all is right with the world. (If you haven’t noticed, I’m starting to feel super important! lol)
So as I was walking to school this morning I noticed a play that is being put on by my theater/drama department. The title is Arabian Nights. You may be wondering why I am even talking about a play that you probably don’t care about, but here is the reason.
That’s right, I said it; color. Here is my problem with movies and theaters. First, I must say that I love musicals, and broadway. Ever since I was thirteen, and first saw Moulin Rouge, I’ve been hooked. Broadway is also my favorite to watch. I like the drama, the plot, the fake stage fighting that looks so real at the time, and the can’t live without each other romantic situations. My only problem is casting people who actually look like the topic being discussed.
One thing my father hates is western movies. Not because of the plots, the cowboys, and mexican standoffs, but because of the casting. You see, when I watch old westerns with my grandma, I notice that the men playing Native Americans are not of color. Not only are Natives not playing their own people but Mexicans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Italians are played by White American people. Even Aborigines are played by white Americans with paint on their faces.
In early America with the country in turmoil in regards to racism and open hostility to other races it is understandable that Whites, or people in power at that time were also dominating the film industry. My question is, what is the excuse now? It’s 2013 so shouldn’t there be more people of color (and I don’t mean just African-Americans) having lead roles in films?
My sister and I recently saw a preview for the Tom Cruise movie Oblivion. I love Sci-fi, and Tom Cruise so to me this was a win-win situation. My problem with this movie is where are all the fresh faces? Tom Cruise is a great actor, but for a movie focused on the future and a new world why not be symbolic and use a fresh-faced actor?
As a new generation who knows better I feel like it’s up to us. We have to show that going on in the tradition of old-school Hollywood is unacceptable. So what’s the solution?
Actually casting other races. Having a diverse cast. Making sure that if we have a character of an African-American we actually let a African-American play that role. The same with other races as well.