A Letter to My Students

I’m sorry, but you’re misinformed ignorant.

You still think all Americans are blonde and blue-eyed.

You search my midnight skin for Africa’s constellations, hoping it would lead me back there, to where I’m really from.

You get tongue-tied when my co-worker’s Latin accent asks you “What countries speak Spanish?” Clumsily spilling out Russia.

You and your American dreamin’ get left naked in the pouring rain when I black-charcoal etch into the board that there are over 500,000 homeless in America.

Dear students,

You are ignorant… but so am I.

What I love about you, about our class is that we dive into constellations, climb up accents, and rebuild dreams together on the bed of knowledge.

I see us building when you stop asking me to speak my language, when you remember a Spanish speaking country, and when you pray for those whom have lost their homes.

I see us building something better than an American dream.
Better than a dream itself.

I’m not sure there’s a name for it yet, but I know how it feels.

I felt it in an African American literature class. It was something that pierced every shade of skin, every ethic background, every worldview, something so powerful that it rattled our bones.

Sometimes I experience this same rattling with you.

I think we should keep building,
give it a name.

Your equally ignorant teacher.


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