Friday, February 22, 2013
Reflection: Effects of Silence
By Denise Francis
Half way through the semester I realize that the setting of this class, discussions and concepts are emotionally draining for me. Here’s why...
Being one of the few black people-females- in the class, it is difficult for me to have discussions with individuals about the black experience in America without feeling like I need defend the history, correct ignorant views or speak for the entire race. Having conversations about race in America is very touchy but also necessary for the advancement of our nation.
During our last discussion of Malcolm X and the various events that occurred in his life, one particular incident resonated with me. One of his favorite teachers told him that he could not be a lawyer because people of color are not lawyers. After expressing interest for the field to someone he admired and trusted, his dream was shattered. The implication of this could have had devastating effects on his life. It’s very possible that he could have decided to drop out of school and live a life that denied his potential as a person. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but for many people that’s not the case. I have heard many stories of people who were told that they weren’t going to be anything, in particular black males. At a tender age it alters how someone views themselves and what they can achieve.
I connected this situation to my own circumstance. My senior I decided to apply early decision to GWU after falling in love with the university. It was a small charter public high school and everyone knew how ecstatic I was after I was accepting. After having a meeting with my guidance counselor she tried to encourage me to breach my early decision contract with GW. I saw there confused and lost that she would even suggest that I walked away from a life changing decision that I worked so hard for. Needless to say, I’m currently a senior at GW and thank God I didn’t let her persuasion change my decision. If I wasn’t the person I am I don’t know what would have happened after graduation.
While discussing Malcolm’s experience in class a student made a comment that she didn’t understand why Malcolm was still harboring feelings after such a long time. His ending remark that he would have made a great lawyer was a moment of reflection and triumph that in that instance he wasn’t broken. Instead, he kept his drive and ambition which will have a lasting affect on our nation. So why hold onto what seemed to you as a “no big deal moment”?...
The constant fear of being robbed of a fair opportunity, that’s why.