View it and weep.

How things stay the same.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “A GIRL LIKE ME

  1. Hello. I used this video in a class I teach, primarily to freshman and sophomores in college. The class was called racial literacy. To my dismay, they didn’t get it. A few of them did, but most of them didn’t, even after spending weeks, and weeks, and weeks learning about race and racism. Many of the white students (primarily white females) felt the black girls in the video were just “whining.” “All girls go through self-esteem and beauty issues,” they said. It didn’t stop there. I had a few black students who went to all-white high schools (and they boasted about it) who minimized what the girls were saying. And, the ones who resisted could not make the connection to the children in the video. They blamed the parents!

    So, you are probably wondering what I did as a teacher. First, I listened. My class is open and dialogue is not censored unless it turns threatening, etc. As I listen, my stomach boils. I cringe. Everything in me twists and turns because they are not only talking about the girls and boys in the video but also about me. I was/am them.

    It’s a long story. Needless to say, I invited a speaker in (a white woman — it pays to have white allies in the struggle–and she is a good person and friend) to lead a discussion. She is also a lawyer and scholar who writes about affirmative action and racism. Anyway, they still were defensive. But, all was not lost. By the end of the week, most of class started to critique their own resistance, which I forced them to do. I turned the tables and asked them why they reacted the way they did.

    See, we externalize racism, see others as bad people or as racist or as ignorant. Rarely do we look at ourselves. At the same time, that video is painfully powerful. It rocks you to the core if you let it. I have to give my students credit for at least engaging and revealing their resistance and trying to grapple with it.

    Yours in struggle and in study,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s