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It’s a scene that may sound familiar to many black students. You’re one of few people of color in the room, and the discussion turns to race or black history. Then your entire class looks to you to weigh in.
Matthew Kashay, a 17-year-old student from Los Angeles, remembers when a question came up during a discussion in one of his classes about the fatal shooting of two black people. “It was a shock to me when a white student said, ‘This is for Matthew to answer,’” Mr. Kashay said. “Watching all of the students turn their heads toward me was extremely infuriating.”
Asriel Hayes recalled a similar scenario. “In 10th grade, I was once asked by my English teacher, ‘What do black people like to be called, black or African-American?’” he said. “Can I, one single person, answer for my entire race?”
Oftentimes it feels as though I’m expected to be, at once, the pupil and the teacher. I, too, feel reluctant and unqualified to speak for all black people, but I also want to ensure that we’re not misrepresented. Is that really my responsibility? By answering their questions about black people and our history, am I giving my peers and professors a pass on educating themselves?
Keisha Leanne Bentley-Edwards, a professor at Duke University who researches racial socialization and youth, agreed that the onus of representing, questioning and explaining black history frequently falls on black students themselves. Carrying this responsibility cannot only be exhausting, but it may also be damaging, according to Dr. Bentley-Edwards.
“The fact that you have to spend your cognitive energy on how you’re going to be perceived is stressful and detracts from your educational experience,” she said. “You’re in there to learn just as much as the other students in the room.”
Ebony Miranda, a contributor to The Edit, remembers correcting one of her professors when her class learned about minstrel shows. “It turned into me practically teaching the class,” Ms. Miranda said. “I left that class feeling angry and upset that I not only had to essentially do my professor’s work for him, but that I had to put myself through emotional distress in order to ensure that people were learning the right history.”
So how can students respond? Here are suggestions for some common situations.
If you’re asked a question you don’t feel qualified to answer for whatever reason, you don’t have to answer it. “It’s O.K. for students to say, ‘I don’t know,’” Dr. Bentley-Edwards said. Not knowing what to say “doesn’t take away from your blackness.”
If a sensitive topic comes up and you’re called upon, you can always say you’d rather not answer, with or without explanation. Those moments might end up being pretty teachable for your classmates and professors, who may not have realized their question or comment was inappropriate.
You definitely don’t have to field questions that ask you to speak for the opinions and perspectives of your entire race. In that case, you might try simply saying, “I can’t speak for all black people, but here’s my opinion.”
You may consider speaking with your professor in private to make sure they understand what made you uncomfortable during class. If it’s actually your professor who is asking you insensitive questions in class, you may consider reporting their behavior to the department or another administrator on campus.
Understanding black history shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of black students alone, and paying attention to how we discuss it shouldn’t be entirely our responsibility either. So as February rolls on, maybe we can all take some time to think about how we talk about black history and whom we ask to speak.
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Amanda Gorman is as student at Harvard College, the Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S., and a contributor to The Edit.B:
【小】【简】【影】【彻】【底】【地】【愣】【住】【了】，“【你】【们】【认】【识】？” 【弗】【双】【手】【揽】【着】【她】【的】【后】【背】，【额】【头】【贴】【向】【她】【微】【烫】【的】【额】，“【认】【识】，【但】【不】【是】【什】【么】【仇】【深】【似】【海】【的】【那】【种】，【你】【不】【要】【怕】。” “【那】【你】【们】【别】【打】【架】。” “【不】【打】，【不】【打】，【尊】【老】【爱】【幼】，【我】【会】【记】【得】【的】。” ······ 【弗】【陵】【磨】【蹭】【了】【许】【久】，【才】【从】【小】【简】【影】【的】【房】【间】【内】【出】【来】。 【王】【素】【熙】【在】【楼】【下】。 【向】【修】
【谢】【博】【宇】【见】【风】【桥】【来】【者】【不】【善】，【但】【也】【不】【打】【算】【和】【风】【桥】【正】【面】【冲】【突】。 【虽】【然】【风】【桥】【没】【有】【和】【他】【正】【式】【打】【过】【照】【面】，【就】【听】【从】【冷】【月】【观】【出】【来】【的】【紫】【儿】【管】【风】【桥】【叫】“【师】【兄】”，【那】【么】【风】【桥】【也】【应】【该】【是】【冷】【月】【观】【出】【来】【的】，【那】【都】【是】【活】【了】【几】【十】【上】【百】【岁】【的】【老】【怪】【物】，【他】【就】【算】【武】【功】【高】【强】，【也】【不】【是】【风】【桥】【的】【对】【手】。 “【风】【桥】【兄】【好】【久】【不】【见】，【别】【来】【无】【恙】【啊】。”【谢】【博】【宇】【虽】【然】【算】【着】【这】【时】【候】【梅】
【月】【亮】【高】【悬】【在】【半】【空】【中】，【发】【着】【微】【弱】【的】【光】。 【墨】【西】【宥】【静】【静】【坐】【在】【窗】【前】【的】【椅】【子】【上】，【回】【想】【起】【去】【年】【这】【个】【时】【候】【的】【自】【己】，【也】【是】【一】【个】【人】，【也】【是】【坐】【在】【窗】【前】，【只】【不】【过】【背】【景】【不】【一】【样】【了】。 【说】【实】【话】，【这】【个】【房】【间】【恐】【怕】【还】【没】【有】【墨】【西】【宥】【卫】【生】【间】【的】【一】【半】【大】，【但】【也】【正】【是】【因】【为】【房】【间】【小】，【墨】【西】【宥】【觉】【得】【自】【己】【的】【那】【种】【孤】【独】【感】【也】【被】【减】【弱】【了】。 【因】【为】【窗】【户】【开】【着】，【墨】【西】【宥】【甚】【至】平特三连肖怎么赔【塞】【克】【斯】【检】【查】【了】【一】【番】【之】【后】，【发】【现】【维】【克】【多】【的】【背】【包】【跟】【她】【的】【身】【体】【连】【接】【在】【一】【起】，【根】【本】【取】【不】【下】【来】，【不】【过】【看】【到】【儿】【子】【完】【好】，【也】【就】【没】【有】【在】【意】，【反】【而】【安】【慰】【道】：“【放】【心】【吧】，【你】【的】【身】【体】【应】【该】【没】【有】【问】【题】，【而】【且】【有】【这】【个】【东】【西】，【你】【会】【很】【安】【全】，【就】【像】【你】【喜】【欢】【的】【托】【尼】【斯】【塔】【克】【一】【样】。” “【是】【吗】。”【维】【克】【多】【松】【了】【口】【气】，【随】【后】【抬】【头】【看】【着】【瑞】【雯】，【停】【顿】【了】【一】【下】【说】【到】：“
【帝】【皇】【酒】【吧】，【京】【都】【最】【为】【出】【名】【的】【一】【间】【酒】【吧】。 【酒】【吧】【装】【修】【豪】【气】【大】【派】，【高】【贵】【奢】【华】。 【在】【这】【里】【面】【消】【费】【最】【低】【都】【是】【一】【万】【起】【步】。 【虽】【然】【消】【费】【高】，【但】【里】【面】【各】【种】【服】【务】【到】【位】，【应】【有】【尽】【有】。 【这】【里】【每】【天】【晚】【上】【都】【挤】【满】【了】【京】【都】【里】【各】【种】【高】【消】【费】【人】【群】。 【劲】【爆】【音】【乐】【充】【斥】【着】【四】【周】，【年】【轻】【男】【女】【在】【舞】【池】【与】【舞】【台】【上】【尽】【情】【摇】【摆】，【放】【纵】，【释】【放】【着】【白】【天】【的】【疲】【劳】。
“【那】【是】【苏】【航】【吧】，【会】【不】【会】【有】【事】?”【柴】【光】【道】。 “【我】【们】【都】【泥】【菩】【萨】【过】【江】，【自】【身】【难】【保】【了】，【哪】【里】【管】【得】【了】【他】，【就】【算】【是】【他】【又】【能】【如】【何】。”【祝】【连】【成】【不】【由】【翻】【了】【个】【白】【眼】。 【柴】【光】【叹】【了】【口】【气】，【嘴】【唇】【动】【了】【动】，【也】【没】【再】【说】【什】【么】。 “【在】【那】【群】【鲛】【人】【面】【前】，【我】【们】【毫】【无】【反】【抗】【之】【力】，【幸】【好】【他】【们】【没】【有】【盯】【上】【我】【们】，【不】【然】【绝】【对】【小】【命】【不】【保】【了】。” 【柴】【光】【抿】【唇】，【祝】【连】
“【你】【好】，【其】【实】【自】【从】【我】【醒】【过】【来】【之】【后】，【就】【一】【直】【想】【找】【你】【聊】【一】【聊】，【因】【为】【你】【毫】【无】【疑】【问】【是】【这】【个】【地】【球】【上】，【现】【今】【为】【止】【最】【强】【的】【几】【个】【人】【之】【一】，【而】【且】【也】【是】【阵】【营】【最】【不】【明】【确】，【最】【为】【神】【秘】【的】【一】【个】。” 【雪】【山】【之】【下】，【德】【古】【拉】【伯】【爵】【看】【着】【叶】【温】，【微】【笑】【着】【说】【道】。 【叶】【温】【如】【今】【还】【是】【第】1【次】【见】【到】【德】【古】【拉】【伯】【爵】，【他】【看】【着】【眼】【前】【这】【个】，【皮】【肤】【如】【同】【雪】【一】【般】【白】【皙】，【整】【个】【人】【都】【透】