Thursday, August 21, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Does Education Help Us Rise Above the Status Quo?

When I was growing up education was one thing that was always stressed in my house. I was told that if you get a good education people will accept you for your education and not your skin color.

What role does race play in our attempt to better ourselves through education?

I decided to write about this because of the recent events (deaths of unarmed young black men). There has been a clear focus that most of the victims were on their way to college or were enrolled in institutions of higher learning that they thought would get them to a better situation. While thinking about this I had the stark reality several times that my skin color still plays a factor in what I do even though I am educated.

My choices for higher education were PWI's (predominately white institutions). I decided to go to a college that had a name for itself and was predominately white. I decided to get my Master’s degree at another predominately white institution as well. I thought that if I attended these schools I would be held to the same standard as my counterparts with whom I graduated with. I thought that this would put me on equal footing experience-wise with anyone else who had the same experience as I did, irrespective of race. I soon learned that this was not the case.

Several of my black counterparts have shared their stories with me. The conversations have typically included the thought...

 “Why should we go to college and get a degree when we are still not looked upon the same way as people who have the same degree?"

My response to that question is that even though we have some of the same struggles socially as those without education, our education will still give us a fighting chance on our place in society. It has been proven over and over again that education can take you many places and open many doors for anyone.

Many talks and debates this week have been focused on how African-American children, even when well-educated, are still a target for the pitfalls in this society. For a long time I chose not to speak on things that are sensitive to me. The tragic events of this past week in Ferguson, MO showed the world another promising young person with a bright future ahead who believed that education would change his situation. The reality that his belief that education would change his situation and yet it didn't, hurt my heart.

Today I ask you...

Does education help us rise above the status quo?  I believe that it very well should but it often does not…

**Pretty Zeta**


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