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Silenced Histories

Uninhibited's picture

Since coming to Bryn Mawr, I've become very aware of the ways in which I've been deprived of having my history taught in classrooms. I smiled as I read "Popular Culture, Pedagogy and Black Youth" because I too remember feeling like I learned the same things every year during black history month: Martin Luther King and "I Have a Dream". That is not to say that I don't think his contribution was unimportant, but it highlights the lack of effort that goes into teaching anything other than euro-centric curriculum to public school students. I still think it's funny that I had a World History class that only focused on Europe. That is without even mentioning that I learned NOTHING, about Latino culture throughout my time in school. I had no teachers that looked or spoke like me to look up or to go to when I felt invisible, silenced.

The same can be said for my Bryn Mawr career. Unless I enroll in a "Latino and Iberian Studies" class I have very limited access to the Latino experience, even in sociology classes, which mostly focus on the ways in which we've been marginalized. Very little attention is paid to our heroes and liberators. I learned about Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Junot Diaz not through a professor, but through one my favorite spoken word collective. Hence why I agree with Delpit in the necessity of having the voices of people of color in creating curriculum. Too many times I've struggled with my own identity as a Latina, low income immigrant, feeling as though I'm only given opportunities to increase the people of color on the Bryn Mawr page and although I've had plenty of people to talk to about that feeling, there are no women of color professors on this campus that I've been able to connect with to talk about those complications. They're probably too overcommitted as the institution does to its students of color.

All in all, I feel very much that our stories are silenced and that that prevents us from really exploring and understanding who we are. It's a shame that I learned about Spanish colonization of my home country, during my trip to France, speaking with other students from other colonized countries. I wish there was more emphasis placed on people of color as agents in all curriculums and that our contributions were as celebrated of those of the "founding fathers"