#IfTheyGunnedMeDown and Educating for the Power of the Counter-Narrative

Piece I wrote in my new joint blog space venture

Empathy and Activism

I have often been told I have the ‘immigrant’ mindset. This is (but it took me years to recognize) a back-handed comment. What I used to believe, and what they wanted me to believe, is that it meant that I had a mentality that whatever I worked hard to achieve, I would get it. There was no ‘man’ out to get me that I could not overcome. It wasn’t until college, when I was reading the works of Mary Waters and others, that I realized that for years West Indian (and other regions) blacks have bought into this idea that if they separate themselves from black Americans, they could be seen as ‘not one of them,’ meaning not those who are ‘lazy’ and ‘take government handouts.’ And I’ve been patted on the head for not being like that my whole life. But there is no real distinction. That is an…

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