Sunday, August 27, 2017

Black in America

Hey loves welcome back to the blog. Today we are covering a touchy subject, "Black in America." My Teni Embellished Dashiki Set from Puksies Wardrobe along with recent events inspired this post. Growing up in Haiti where the majority of the population is black, I was not aware of what it meant to be "black" to the rest of the world until I moved to New York. Before we get deeper into the post, I want to make it clear that I do not believe in race as in "I am black, you are green, yellow or purple." I personally believe that race is another vehicle for division  and a source of distraction in society just like classism and religion. At the end of the day, we are all one race, the human race!

During my first semester in High School, I was placed in ESL classes because of the language barrier but I was only there for one semester because I aced all of those classes. The next semester, they put me in regular english classes. I had a sexual health class or something of that nature, it's one of those gym requirement classes. My teacher in that class was a white woman. For whatever reason , I was taken out of her class and put into the same class on a different period with a Haitian Teacher. I aced that class but when I received my report card, I got an "F" from the white lady's class and not the "A" from the Haitian Teacher's class. I was very serious about my grades in school and I thought to myself that's not going in my records because i did the work and got an "A." 

As a result, I went to see my guidance counselor and explained to her what happened and she told me that I had to go see the teachers and the chair person of the department to fix the problem. I saw the Haitian Teacher, she remembered me from her class and confirmed that I got an "A." Then I went to see the chair person and she told me that I needed to speak with the other teacher, the white lady. The chair person showed me her schedule so that I can locate her and at the time  she was about to teach a class in the next 10 minutes or so. I went up to the class, knocked at the door she said to come in and I went in. I explained what happened, remind you this is my second semester in a new school, speaking a new language and they just took me out of ESL so my english was not that great. I assume she did not get what I was trying to say to her. She said out loud, "you didn't show up to class that's why I failed you." Kids in the class were laughing and I was so embarrassed! I walked out and didn't know what to do next. 

At this time, I went to my next class and after that class I went down to the teacher's office because it was her office hours trying to explain to her what happened. She shut me off and asked me to leave. I left and went to my next scheduled gym class. While I was in the gym class, a school safety person came to the class and called my name. They took me to the Dean's Office and told me that I was being suspended. for harassment. At this point, I was lost. How did I go from acing classes to being suspended for harassment because someone made a simple mistake reporting my grades. WHAT???

First of all, common sense tells me that the chair person could have conferred with both teachers regarding the matter and fix the problem that way without me being involved with the teacher at all. 
Secondly, when I was suspended, they wanted my parent/guardian to come in for a conference or something and my aunt/custodial guardian would not go. I told her I did not harass the teacher, I was just trying to explain to her what happened to my grades. My kept telling everyone, "if the teacher said she did it, she did it".  That in itself is a big problem because a lot of black parents do this, if there kid gets in trouble in school or with the law, they automatically conquer with the authority figure and dismiss the child's account. I've seen my aunt do it with her own children and that's not right. Looking back at it I guess the chair person who was also white and she was the white teacher's mother in law also thought I was guilty of being black.

The way the system is set up in America, you are automatically a criminal because you are black. You don't have to do anything, YOU'RE BLACK YOU'RE A CRIMINAL! We finally made it to the conference and I gave my account of what happened in front of the principal and all of the people who were there. The principal apologized to me and said that I shouldn't have been suspended, this was all a big misunderstanding. He further stated that I am an exemplary student in the school with my grades. and I have never been in trouble before. As a corrective action, he promised that they will take the incident off of my records. But the suspension affected my grades in other ways because I missed a few weeks of the other classes that I was enrolled in and I ended getting a C or two for that semester. 

When I graduated, the school gave me a tiny scholarship of $500. and they put my name in a plaque somewhere in the school, I don't recall what it was for but my name is hung up somewhere in the school. This is when I started to realize and get a feel for what it means to be black in America.

If you have any stories of what it means to you to be black wherever you may be please share in the comments I would love to hear your stories. Sorry this was a little deeper than what we usually cover here. 

Hope you're having a great day!



No comments:

Post a Comment