The politics of Ethnic Studies: A little cultural scene

Practical Politics

David L. Horne, Ph.D ow oped | 12/5/2019, midnight

Shaunie: Hey, Esther!! Wait up !.......Where you rushing off to?

Esther: Oh, what’s up, She ?....I’ve got to go get some food or a soda or something. I don’t feel so good.

Shaunie: What’s wrong? Catchin’ a cold?

Esther: Naw…Don’t think so…..I don’t know…I just feel kind of strange and light-headed..

Shaunie: Too much partyin’, huh?  Too much good weed?

Esther: Hell no, not on a school night, fool !!  You know I don’t do that !!!

Shaunie: Well, what then ?

Esther: Well, I’m just coming from this anthropology class, and the teacher’s lecture today talked about how everything worthwhile that’s been produced or invented in the world came from Europe and white folks. Religion, iron, government, gold, civilization, all of it. Only white folks came with it all. Brown people and Black folks were only around to work for white folks. To be their slaves, you know ? That ‘s when my stomach started to hurt. My head too. I knew that couldn’t be right, but I didn’t know what to say about it. I didn’t want to embarrass myself…. I haven’t felt right since then…..

Shaunie: That’s all ?? Hell, these teachers do that all the time at this school. And most other schools, too,  I guess. You should be used to that by now !! Why would that upset you? You know white people got a God Complex !!!

Esther: You know, my parents had to work real hard to get me into this college. I remember my daddy pulling me aside at my high school graduation party and telling me, “Look, Esther, you’ve got a queen’s name. You have to always represent !!  Now, you got a scholarship to a real good college. You go out there and do honor to your name, hear! We’re not sending you to college to come back crazy, and don’t you let them insult you or Black folk to your face, you understand what I’m saying ?”

Shaunie:  You had a graduation party? Hell, my folks weren’t even speaking to each other. They were just glad I didn’t get shot or get a baby before I got out of the house.

Esther:  Yeah, I hear you…..But, I tell you, that teacher really got on my last nerve !! Everybody Black wasn’t no slave !!!! The first slaves were white people !!!

Shaunie: Yeah, I know. I’ve been in a couple of Africana Studies courses. But what are you gonna do, huh? If you try to speak up in class, she’ll probably get mad and flunk you. Your folks will have a fit, then !! 

Esther:  Yeah, you got that right. But I’m not going that way! I’m Queen Esther, girl !!

Shaunie:  Yeah, yeah, yeah ! A queen with no court !! You don’t even have a king yet ! What’s up with that?

Esther:  Plenty of time for that, missie. Plenty of time….Right now I need a plan of attack…..wait, I know! We have a class presentation and a paper coming up ! I can do something on Pan Africanism and how Egypt was an African civilization, and a lot of the other things that Africans brought into this world. I’ve got a lot of books and there’s always Google.