From the Afro-centric people of the Gullah Geechee nation to the soulful streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, streams of the ugly but yet beautiful truths of our nation’s history embodied minds and triggered curiosity. Personally, I feel that my insatiable hunger for an understanding of the history that inhabits MY veins has finally been satisfied. Finally, I am no longer deprived of the beautiful brown fruits whose story is told through my own blood line. You see, I go to a school in which the magnitude of my culture is barely recognized, let alone celebrated. As I gazed upon the mangled face of Emmett Till, or embodied the blood,sweat, and tears of an African slave, I knew that my transformation into a “black woman” had begun. A sense of humility and love overwhelmed me as I witnessed the gratitude of a family of hurricane Katrina survivors who was having their home rebuilt free of cost. I spoke to the mother, immediately I looked past her eyes straight into her soul, I felt her pain. My feet were swollen, back in pain, and in respiratory distress due to the relentless heat, but yet I felt like the lucky one. The consistent smiles this displaced family wore made me wonder how we think we have the luxury to complain about anything what so ever. My mission as not only a student of OU, but an advocate for change is to educate myself and others so that the generations to come have a fair shot at success and develop the urge to engage in unconventional thinking. Dr. King didn’t “have” a dream, he “has ” a dream, and I intend to live it out as long as my skin is glazed with brown.
Desiree Booker, Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, OU 2010