Lyrical Revolution. Blackness does not beget stupidity.

Posted on February 10, 2012

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Is this the truth or what? When I went to the “white” school in my county, it was a battle. I had to prove that I was a true magnet student. I had to prove that despite my race I was smart too. I went to arguably the best school in my county. I remember a day in my AP Statistics class when a classmate (Asian) said to me: “You know, I thought you were dumb. No offense, you’re just loud and I can’t take you seriously.” I was surprised. I knew I had to prove myself but wow. Two years letter, college accpetances began to trickle in and it was not a great time for me. People found out which colleges I was accepted into and some were up in arms. I heard comments along the lines of , “Come on, you have to admit you got in because you were black.” “What! She got in?! Are you kidding me? It must be because she was black” A year later in my freshman year at one of the most prestigious schools in the nation a friend told me, “I didn’t really think you were that smart but now I know you are.”

For all the black students out there who are teased for impeccable grades and speech, let them carry on. Education is about self-improvement. My father was the last of ten children raised in the ‘country’ of Jamaica. He was the only one to obtain a college degree. My mother is college educated, so is her mother. My maternal grandfather who died in the 70s, obtained a master’s degree. My parents and family members have always taught me the importance of education. I had to learn for myself that I had to fight for my opportunities and against societies expectations. It was hard. It was hard to take challenging classes with people who challenged your ability to do the work. It was hard to have people challenge the integrity of your college acceptances. It was hard to have people challenge the viability of my standardized test scores; many people chalking it up to luck and in the moment success.

At times it pissed me off! Why is it so hard to believe that a black kid can get a high SAT score? Why is it so hard to believe that black kid can get in to a prestigious school regardless of race? I just wanted to yell at people and say, “I am black, and I am smart. I’m NOT sorry if this revelation upsets your outlook on life. It is what it is.” Other times, I really wanted to say “No! I didn’t get into college because I was black! I got in because I showed that I could achieve. Did you get in because you’re white? Did you get in because daddy could pay the 60 grand a year sticker price? Did you get in because you’re an athlete?” But I never did. Why stoop to that level of ignorance? I had to remember that school is about getting my education and setting myself up for success.

We need to teach black children that being educated and wanting to achieve is not an attribute of the white race or the asian race or any race for that matter. We need to teach young non-minority students to not assume that a minority student lacks intelligence because of his or her’s race. The idea that minority children must prove themselves to their classmates and teachers is ridiculous. Is it possible for us to socialize our children to believe that every child is born with potential regardless of race?

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