Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Farewell to Rhodes College

Approaching my last few weeks of undergrad I must say that my experience has been bitter sweet. I decided to write about this in my philosophy of race class because I feel like my race and class has played a part in shaping my perception of Rhodes College. When coming here , I experienced a complete culture shock. Although, I went to school with a few white people we were all of the same class and they were use to being around people like me (blacks), there was still a big difference in my experience in high school compared to my Rhodes experience. As the only black on the volleyball team my freshman through junior year, I gradually grew more comfortable and confident in who I was. I always felt that whenever I was myself around white people it made them uncomfortable. By being myself , I am referring to talking the way I talk being a native Memphian and even down to the small things such as swag (the things I wear, my body language, etc).

There were times that I felt like I had to transfer ASAP or else .....

Then there were other times, when I felt as though there were some advantages of being at an institution like Rhodes. I can say I have met some great people (some whom are like me and others who are completely different. Not just referring to race but philosophies of life, worldview, religious preference, etc). I will say I appreciate the black community and the faculty and staff for keeping me grounded in hard times. offices such as the multicultural affairs office served as a coping mechanism when going through hard times. The multicultural affairs office during after hours is a safe space that lends space to the development of many peer support groups. We have had many discussions in the office which has created and molded me into an accepting, understanding person in many aspects in my evolution as a social being in America. I also want to thank the faculty and staff. Professor J , I WISH I WOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN ABOUT YOU !!! YOU ARE THE BOMB ! You have served as a prototype for a great professor in my opinion and this class has taught me so much.

My white counterparts.... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ... you all have opened my eyes up to so much on so many levels. I appreciate you all taking a class such as philosophy of race and actually taking part in a discussion that you as a white individual could do just fine without. Thank you , I wish all of Rhodes was like you guys. I have learned so much and gained an understanding of so many structural factors than can serve as obstacles at times of us understanding or relating to eachother. This class goes way beyond the classroom for me. Thank again to everyone and thanx for taking the time out to read this .....

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