Posts Tagged ‘Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’

Yolanda Hood: I don’t control a lot of things – but I can control what I read

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

I found myself facing some epic declarations and accusations recently:
“How do you even have the job that you have?”
“And you have a Ph.D. in English! How? How did that happen?”
“Should you even be a librarian?”
I laughed in the face of everyone’s reactions to my seeming disgrace. I like to laugh.
I had confessed to multiple friends and colleagues that I had never read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and likely would never read it. I also acknowledged that the chances of my reading Go Set a Watchman, touted as the recently released sequel, are slim to none as well. So, now you see what all the commotion was about.
Why should I read it? I actually live it.
I’ve been told that To Kill a Mockingbird is a moving portrayal of racism, social injustice, and the fight to overcome them. Well, I live those experiences every day. And, I am reminded of it every day in one way or another.
There was the time this summer when my 13-year-old daughter asked me questions that I didn’t know how to answer: “Will the police help me if I need help? Will they kill me, mom? Will they kill you?” I didn’t want to answer her because the truth of the matter is that I could have answered each of those questions with, “It’s possible.”
As if that’s not enough, there was the time I was the only African-American at a meeting in which everyone voiced their opinions and participated in the brainstorming session with helpful feedback, but when my turn came and I began to share, I was immediately dismissed with a raised voice, a hand slammed against the table, a face turned red. Even though I pushed through and completed my thoughts, I was reminded by this micro-aggression that my ideas were not wanted.
I

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