While thumbing through some old papers from days that seemed alot less peculiar than those presently lived-an original piece was discovered.
Surprisingly the issues haven’t changed much! While attending a prominent private University in Maryland one of the sports teams thought it would be comical to dress up as poor interpretations of Black people. Images of afro wigs and brown shoe polished faces are seared into the memory of this African American female athlete. I had earned the right to be at the school….academically and athletically! How dare these ignorant asses attempt to belittle OUR presence at their JESUIT institution. Though the school was wholly affordable because of the full athletic scholarship that I had earned, my ability to run up and down that court while maintaining a reasonable GPA (one had to REMAIN ELIGIBLE) earned that school money to support the other athletic program that had felt it necessary to degrade MY PEOPLE, for whom many of them knew absolutely NOTHING about in the first place.
Here is the letter I wrote to the editor.
On the evening of masquerade and disguies (October 31, 1992), a group of Loyola club sport members paraded as African-Americans. Their faces were blackened with shoe polish, their lips were whitened, and their stringy hair was covered with kinky afro wigs.
The days of “Sambos”, “Aunt Jemima” and other negatively stereotyped images of African American people are almost over. The fight to discontinue these false perceptions of the African American culture has and still is a long and hard one. But this act reinforces the need for more education, and even more patience (within the African-American culture and other offended groups) and an increased interest in cultural awareness and appreciation among Anglo Saxons. I feel truly sorry for these completely ignorant young men, who are mere products of their (ignorant) society. Their society did n ot teach them of the leteral theft of millions of Africans from their homes and families, by their ancestors. Nor of the millions of Black illegitimate brothers and sister they may have sitting right next to them in their college classrooms….creastions of their ‘proud’ forefathers. Their society does not openly teach them of the infinite number of contributions Africans have made towards the world contributions. The neglect of cultural awareness within our schools has produced such stupidity as these representatives of a leading University have demonstrated.These Division I athletes and others like them have not EARNED the right to adorn our color(s), in any regard. People of color are not able to wash their faces clean of their pigmentation, nor are they able to wash away the struggles that result from intolerant distain. Do not mimic those not understood, rather try to learn about and understand the misunderstood.
The night is beautiful
So are the faces of my people
The stars are beautiful
So are the eyes of my people
Beautiful,also, is the sun
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people