I kid you not, my classmates listed everything but racism. I wasn’t going to be the one that said it; I knew racism was and is alive and well. In that moment, I realized that in my PWI, racism is always the elephant in the room. Finally, after some nudging from our professor, one girl said it: “Racism is still an issue.”
You don’t say.
For that class, we had to do a quarterly ‘constellation project.’ This was an assignment where we could choose any object, concept, or theory and relate it back to the text for that week. I remember for my first project, I focused on Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and its ponderings about the merit of education- especially white-washed education. During winter quarter, I discussed a scene from Jordan Peele’s Get Out in which Georgina begins to crack after Chris says “When there’s too many white people, I get nervous.” For my last constellation project, I explored the witty yet honest lyrics of Janelle Monaes’s America, the song that closes their 2018 album Dirty Computer. Even though I feel like I could have done more, I made it my imperative to force a conversation about Black history as we read books that never considered a Black experience.