I have finally read Beloved by Toni Morrison and I am so elated. I had to read it for class, which is usually the sole opportunity I have for reading books nowadays. Well, I could make time but my procrastination usually doesn't encompass reading books, though it should. I love Beloved. Reading Toni Morrison's novels always make me feel closer to myself, closer to my past, closer to my ancestors. I don't want to give the book away but it really talks about the breaking down of people and families. And what the past can do to you. Just the knowledge and the ability to remember. It was just a wonderful book.
We discussed the book in my American Literature class. The discussion didn't piss me off, but as always, made me feel uncomfortable. And this is why I wanted to talk about white privilege in the classroom. It is really frustrated being the "only one" in the classroom. In this case, I was the only African-American but at home, in most cases, I am the only Black. I would say less for my social work classes. But I have my two minors, which are English and Women's Studies. And then general education requirements. There always comes that uncomfortable feeling when race is brought up because you know its going to get awkward; a comment will be made, a giggle will happen when it shouldn't, someone will ask you to expand on something because they think you know everything about it but most importantly, that they feel you should be the educator of if so. I have often, many times, been student AND teacher in a classroom. In the beginning, I appreciated it. Then I hated it. Now it's a little of both.
I hate that this is even a worry. White students don't expect to have to answer to their race in the classroom. It's frustrated when I am othered in a discussion. It's..."So your the other, teach us whites about what this Black idiom means or why would this Black person be upset at yadda yadda." It's like....I do not have my Ph.D yet and I do not get a salary. It is not my responsibility to be that person. I will when I want but when I dont want to, I don't. I will say I don't know or just shrug. And as far as laughing goes, that really boils me. I mean. SERIOUSLY. We were in my film class, watching a clip from Birth of a Nation...and I swear I heard a giggle. I swear. Maybe, just maybe. I was imagining things. But I know for a FACT I heard LAUGHTER coming from the back of the class when we watched full medal jacket and a joke was made. What do you do to stop 5 men from raping a white woman? Throw them a basketball. WTF? Who is laughing at that? I just want to get up and punch someone in the face. It puts me in an awkward position. And I hate it. Do I say something? Do I just sit here? Is someone looking at me to see a reaction? My body gets hot. Being the only Black in a class can bring up many issues. Black woman? Oh, well even more. It's just annoying sometimes.
But todays discussion of Beloved was enjoyable. Although I have a cooky ass teacher that laughs at everything. He's just one of those laughers...you know what I mean? Like those people that just laugh at everything by just...shit, laughing. And mostly it was about slavery. It bothered me to an extent. You would have had to been there to understand. But yea.
Beloved is an exceptional book. I need to go watch the movie again. Is it really that bad?