Unique but Strong
Welcome back to Status:Melanated’s blog series, "If only I had known, life would've been different". Here we explore different perspectives of former students of color in predominantly white educational communities. This blog post is by a fantastic sister of Status:Melanated, Mariah Harmon. Se attended an Atlanta private high school where he had different experiences. She talks about how she found a found a community to let her grow. This is a lottle bit out of order but I believe this is something that we should all engage with. Follow her highly educate world of social media in her profiles posted below. Please enjoy this post:
Attending a predominantly white, private school from first to twelfth grade equipped me with a number of unique experiences and helped me to build my perspective on education and life. I attended a private school for a majority of my career, so I don’t remember ever riding a school bus or having play dates with kids that went to my school AND lived in my neighborhood. While I was in school, I never thought anything was weird about my experience, but as an adult I think back on how fortunate I was and also how confined I was.
As I mentioned before, I can’t name one friend through twelve years that attended m
y school and lived in my neighborhood, or even on “my side of town.” I first realized I was Black and different from other students around the 4th or 5th grade. My classmates started to discuss their plans for the summer, which consisted of going to lake houses, attending sleep away camps, or taking long vacations abroad. No one ever verbally excluded me, but it was an unspoken fact that I would not be invited. Missing out on these experiences never upset me because I had my own community.
My mother and father made sure we had the best education possible, but they also placed us in positions to socialize with other Black students. We were members of Jack and Jill outside of school and I was apart of the Black Student Association in school. I learned to lean on my community while attending school. I always felt supported especially because there were other kids of color that shared a similar experi
ence. I hope students currently attending predominately white schools will remember to always stay true to themselves and work hard to find their place. Whether your place is on a sports team, a cultural club, or in the orchestra, use that community to lean on for support. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. For years, I was afraid to wear my hair in certain styles because I was afraid of the reaction I would get. Now, I look back and wish that I had been more confident to let my full personality show. I hope that students of color in these schools will be accepting of each other and help to support one another.
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