Essay about Children Of All Backgrounds Were Ignorant Of Culture

Essay about Children Of All Backgrounds Were Ignorant Of Culture

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When I was in elementary school, I remember sitting on the bus one morning hating my hair. I hated my hair so much that I began undoing all the plaits and barrettes that my mother had so carefully braided that morning. In that moment, I hated being different than all the other girls in my school who had long, soft, flowing hair. I grew up in a predominately white community in the late 1990s, early 2000s. There was only 13% African Americans and even less of other “minorities” in Calvert County, MD. Days before, I remember other students asking me if I washed my hair or why I never wore my hair out. In school, most of my culture was lost and limited to slavery. Children of all backgrounds were ignorant of culture. While this event may not seem critical to everyone, it represented a conflict in my identity as a black, female, lower middle class, overweight, Christian, heterosexual, introverted young girl. I was an “other” in the majority of Beverly Tatum’s categories of otherness. I was far from the “mythical norm.”
As the bus pulled off, I let my hair blow in the wind and when I got to school my hair was all over the place. Thinking back, I know that my hair looked a mess. However, in that moment I did not care because I believed that I looked more like the “mythical norm.” Not only did I worry about my hair growing up, but my appearance was also always a concern. Not only was I a black girl, I was also part of the lower middle class. Calvert County is a relatively wealthy county in Maryland. My parents generally dressed me in a variation of plain t-shirts and shorts or sweatpants from Walmart. I did not have the luxury of name brands or picking out my school clothes. I was very quiet and observant, mainly because I did not have m...


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... this with my students so they can take a recovery journey like I did, the recovery journey that I am still on today.
I also must be mindful about my upbringing as well. Sometimes when people have been discriminated against, it is easy to have preconceptions about others. Also, since books were my “savior” growing up, I must remember that my students may or may not like books as I do. Additionally, not everyone is a perfectionist like I am or is interested in topics of the African Diaspora. Everything I have mentioned here may seem obvious, but we all must think of these types of things and how we view other people, coworkers, and students. Additionally, knowing where parts of your identity stem from is important to deciding if you want to hold on to that part of your identity, or take on a new identity. We have one life to live and the right to be who we want to be.

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