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Twitty Readings- Clifton

It is amazing for me to have the opportunity to read these stories from the prospective of the oppressed. Being a white male from the south I now know the voices I often heard growing up were those of the oppressor. This new found perspective not only allows me to better grasp the gravity of our nations history, but also the impact our ancestors have left on us and the state of our culture. In a prior podcast Dr. Bezio talked about the idea of living in a world with hundreds maybe even thousands of cultures. Having a new and more accurate definition and understanding of what culture really is I am able to see how we arrived to our current state in America. Our past has impacted the lives of all Americans but none have been impacted more than the black community.

When I think about all that we have begun studying thus far, culture sticks out to me. The ability to identify with a group or culture of people is something we are all entitled too, or so I thought. In Twitty’s chapter “No More Whistling Walk For Me” he describes the attire worn by cooks during their time on various plantations. As he continues to describe the treatment he received as a cook I could not stop thinking about how he was being robbed of that freedom. I am humbled by his resiliency. To have your identity stripped from you due to the color of your skin is crime that cannot go without punishment. I am speechless at all of black Americans that were able to rise above their oppression a hundred years ago, and today.

Twitty refers to American plantations as a “Labor camp system for exiled prisoners of war and victims of kidnapping”. I was intrigued by his description of these plantations because prior to now plantations had always been described to me as big beautiful farms. Again, that is a result of the oppressor. What else about our nations history has been tainted to fit the narrative? I wonder

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