We are Invisible

Ralph Ellison wrote:

“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of those Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids-and I might even be said to possess a mind. I m invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination-indeed, everything and anything except me.”

This clip from the movie Finding Forrester best represents the assumption many make about those of the “darkest” color. Thus, I make it my mission to recruit and protect faculty members of color as well as students of color. Those who are not like us cannot understand why we remain frustrated or even angry. But then again, the majority is comfortable by assuming it is just us. There are so few of us. And, for those of us that elect to enter the independent world of private school teaching, very few stay. As W.E.B Du Bois notes, many of us belong to the talented tenth. A collective of the best and the brightest. It is us that must transform society. And, we must do it our way.

This clip from the movie Finding Forrester illustrates the natural assumption the white world makes about those of color. And, many do not realize they are doing it.This again became very evident as I sat behind a white family this past Friday at a football game. I listened to them claim handouts and special treatments toward minorities for 15 minutes. Once they were done, I motioned so they would see me right behind them. Yes, I was invisible to them. I looked at them and simply stated, I feel sorry for you; I gave them my name and told them to give me a call; I assured them I would not talk over their heads, but I would engage in a conversation with them. Thus, I stated they had a very narrow view of the world.  The clip below is also a great piece for Mrs. Chili’s grammar Wednesday. Hence, further and farther.

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2 thoughts on “We are Invisible

  1. I have been in this predicament a lot, especially being 1 of 2 black students in my engineering class at Baylor. Lets just say I have “surprised” my advisor as well as a some faculty and colleagues. It only motivates me to work harder and to excel in all that I do.

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