Creative Writing Piece
I need to tell you something. I lied. I lied on my application. It wasn’t about my grades, or my test scores, my extracurriculars. No it wasn’t anything like that. It was on my supplement. Why Davidson? I stared at the question for 15 minutes before anything popped into my head. I had forgotten why Davidson long before I started the application. Davidson had just become another addition onto the list of 18 colleges I was applying to. Why Davidson? I think…maybe…. I found it on a list of colleges good for writing…a long time ago when I was first beginning a process I didn’t care much for but felt obligated to do…maybe, maybe that’s why Davidson. I couldn’t explain my love for writing in 100 words so I researched, scanned the website, highlighted the keywords, values, empty phrases, variations of what is on every other college’s website. My eyes landed on ‘Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion’ and in 100 words I was able to gush about how students of color have their own space in the Weinstein Center for Community and Justice and how the Justice, Equality, and Community and cultural diversity requirement were so comforting to see because I know white children are paying fifty grand to learn about Negroes like me, and yay intersectionality, and yay post-racial model, and yay you care about my colored ass. I want to tell you that there was no love or hope put into this supplement, it was formulaic, and most importantly it was a lie because it wasn’t what I believed or knew to be true, it is what most kids like me coming from a PWI know to be false. But I gave up my truth for a chance to get into college, set my pride aside and showed my biggest artificial smile in hopes I could impress and when I got in I stopped smiling.
Neo-nazis on campus! Is it bad that I didn’t flinch, didn’t bat an eye? Is it bad that I didn’t feel any less safe than I already did. I want you to know I asked what is it like to be a student of color on campus only to make sure Davidson wasn’t going to be different, only to reaffirm what I knew to be true.
The American Library by Yinka Shonibare is an instillation that demands attention. The thousands of books in this art installation are covered in traditional African fabrics and create a kaleidoscope of color that captivates anyone passing by. These fabrics are not only visually stunning, they help tell the story of interdependence in America. Although believed to be traditionally African these fabrics were “originally based on Indonesian batik textiles, made in the Netherlands and sold in West Africa” and function as “a signifier of the identity of people from Africa and the African diaspora, but more importantly, how they encounter with Europe.” The “mixed origins” of the fabric make it a metaphor for the multicultural identity of the United States and its history of borrowing from its immigrant population. The American Library celebrates immigration in a time when discussions around immigration are negative, it celebrates immigration in a time when xenophobia is rising in Western countries.
The diversity of fabrics equalize, it reinforces that with exception of the indigenous people of North America we are all immigrants and most importantly it challenges what it means to be American. When politicians are trying to limit who gets a role in the story of America The American Library offers the other’s narrative.
Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer and Afro-Futurism
♪I’m not America’s nightmare. I am the American Dream♪
If you can’t look to the past, or the present for liberation look towards the future! “Afrofuturism is an artform, practice and methodology that allows black people to see themselves in the future despite a distressing past and present.” It acts as pathway towards black liberation or a glimpse into what black liberation will look like.