Who Writes Your Life Story HBCU Students?
by Professor William Jackson
Using the TEDx presentation to
encourage all HBCU students to live up
to their expectations and not to listen
to the stereotypes of others based on
color, gender and social-economic background.
Who writes your life story? | Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
Each HBCU student has a story to tell, an adventure
or a situation that allows each of us to share our
travels in a world of continuous change and adaptation.
The human spirit is sometimes defined by the actions and
in actions we take as we make the journey into and through
the challenges, chaos, confusion, storms and welcoming
calmness that we experience during the time we are on this
plane of life.
Students in my Educational Technology class are required
to manage a traditional blog, writing for several weeks
about their talents, passions, goals, likes and challenges.
Just as other classes for the past 4 years that have taken
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM at Edward
Waters College. Those that are in the Department of
Education and Urban Studies are required to take this class,
but more and more students in other disciplines are seeing
the value of writing for their life.
Encouraging students to write can be challenging because
you have to show the reasons why they should do this and
how it can benefit them.
There needs to be tangible and connecting situations and
circumstances to show that writing can increase networking,
create a positive digital footprint and show the potential to
increase visibility in the job market and potential financial
Attending an HBCU there are benefits and some potential things
that can hold a person back. The term HBCU is not always
beneficial in the white corporate world because it may be
perceived as unskilled, ill-prepared, lower educational
achievement, minority, ghetto, inner-city and slow. These may
be some of the perceptions carried by labels and assumptions.
Labels can deny access to equitable educational access and even
the mental stereotypes that can affect performance in the classroom.
I share with my students to never let someone else’s expectations
define their life and their successes.
As a father of two college age young adults I have seen how low
expectations of teachers, friends and even the community affect
the self perceptions of children. When my children were in
elementary and middle I constantly encouraged them to read, to
think for themselves and not like the crowd, I took my kids to
conferences, workshops and other events that offered
exposure and learning. Why more Black families do not do this
there are many excuses.
Understanding diversity was important because my children had
to understand that this world, this nation is diverse and they
had to be able to cope with the integration and collaboration
of races. To many times people said I was raising my children like
they were white, but in actuality I was raising them to live in a
white world where mental toughness was necessary, having dreams,
goals and a mission in life made living valuable and being Black was
an asset not collateral damage.
Parents must always build up their children even if there are
challenges to their mental abilities, children can overcome and
compensate for many challenges if the parents do not have lower
expectations for success. Speak and breath life and a love for
learning. This is where to many African American families fall
short, living under the expectations of others that see them
as second class citizens, as potential criminals, welfare
recipients and even kids being in ESE and EBD classes not
Gifted and Talented classes.
The parent is the first educator and creates a foundation for
growth and development for a life-time. Parents create the
mental foundation for how their child will stand and deliver
energies that motivate and expand success or accept the mode of
below average living and relying on governmental
HBCUs have a history of overcoming challenges and even
atrocities that are thrown at them because of the strong will
for success and rising like the Phoenix. If the parent assumes
their child cannot read past a certain level and mental comprehension
they deny their child the gifts of literature, reading, exposure
and even interactions that can open mental doors to expand the
horizons to be better then they currently are.
In my class I use TEDx Talks to show the similarities of cultural
and generational experiences to help students to understand
they do not have to live by others expectations and stereotypes.
They have options to experience and manage their life to be what
they want it to be by embracing learning and exposure to
new things in life.
Using a platform of blogging to step out away from the limitations
of people placed because they only only see color, zip codes or
area codes, student writing can take them globally any where in the
world because they can adapt their writing to embrace not just
the diversity of people, but the diversity of thought,
rationalization and the emotional connections that bring about
unity and respect.
Who writes your life story? | Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
Is a way for students at HBCUs to share in a story of
mental and emotional neglect and abuse. Even through
the hell of low expectations HBCU students can rise
to new heights and accomplish unbelieveable success.
HBCU students start to write your own story, never
allow anyone else to write your story, to cast you
into a category and try to keep you there.
It is a choice, a decision that you make.
Choose wisely what direction you will go, by your
decisions or by the decisions of others that only see
you based on ignorance, racism, prejudice and hate.
Listening to “Who writes your life story?” |
Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly is a way to break free
of the pain and limitations of others.
Who Writes Your Life Story?
Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
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