“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds” -Mexican Proverb.
I resonate with this quote deeply and and it ties into my class of Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity concepts because even after all the oppression, we are still thriving as marginalized groups. I hold myself to a higher degree especially being at a predominately white institution (PWI) where the system favors the superiority of white people. I always try to reward myself however, when I have achieved a certain level of difficulty or fear of reaching a goal at college. I recognize like DuBois that the resources I have been exposed to growing up, I am not going to win the war but I will win battles. In a W.E.B DuBois piece he says, “particularly the Negro race-have not as yet given civilization the full spiritual message which they are capable of giving” (112). His recognition of what the world may never experience due to other factors of discrimination towards the black race as its full contribution to humanity. It is almost crazy to think what could have been if major and minor instances of people’s ideologies never existed?
Leopold Senghor’s writing in “What is “Negritude’?” had an impact on me in so many levels. He touches upon some of the anxieties I have had with the hegemony of white America in trying to assimilate but always preserving one’s own culture. He comes to an understanding of how one must assimilate but for the sake of their own well-being. If a person is regarding or is a erasing their culture in an effort to seek acceptance then they will never truly be successful. At this point, I must add race is part of culture. “We could assimilate mathematics or the French language, but we could never strip off our black skins nor root out our black souls” (Senghor 136). I cannot and will not hide who I truly am as a brown Chicana but even when I am feeling frightened by society, I will never lose who I am.
- E. Burghardt Du Bois. 1897. The Conservation of Races. The American Negro Academy
Occasional Papers, No.2. Washington, D.C.: Published by the Academy.