Diversity Project Interview According to the United States Census report in 2010, there were 38. 9 million African Americans in the United States. This total makes up 12. 6% of the entire population and was a 12% increase from the last ten years. African Americans still lag behind white or Asian Americans in overall educational attainment but with 14% attaining a four-year degree and 5% with advanced degrees they are still higher than most other minorities. More African American women attend and complete college than men (“African Americans,” 2013). I selected this group because I am currently teaching in
Newport News public schools where the majority of my students are members of this group. In order to become a better educator I wanted to have a better insight into this group. I interviewed a 26-year-old African American female who is a Special Education teacher and is currently obtaining her second masters. According to her, being African American is very important to her and gives her a sense of pride in who she is and who she has become. Receiving an education is extremely important to her as well as being persistent in what she believes in and fights for.
She takes great ride in the family members, ancestors and notable African Americans who have “fought a battle to earn a piece of the American Dream”. Her source of pride of being an African American is overcoming obstacles and stereotypes through her actions. She feels that the members of her group who do not value education and freedom are negative dimensions of her group’s culture (Davis, 2013). Throughout life, being an African American female have had positive and negative impacts on her. A lot of people have stereotypical expectations of her such as expecting her to have children ND live on welfare.
At school she feels that many people expected her to speak uneducated or with incorrect grammar or slang. She grew up in a predominately white neighborhood and was only the second black family to move in. Across the street lived a girl the same age as her but they were not allowed to play together because the girl’s grandparent’s told her, “she’s black and black people are dirty. ” She never had anyone to play with growing up and enjoyed spending time with her grandparent’s who lived in a predominately black neighborhood where she had overall other children to play with.
She earned her first Master’s degree by the age of 24 and being African American made her appreciate her education more because she was taught and understood how difficult it was for an African American to earn an education (Davis, 2013). When she was 22 years old she purchased her first house but during the process her underwriter would not accept the official transcript as proof that she completed her four-year degree and requested that she actually send a copy of her diploma as documentation.
She perceived this request as the underwriter not believing that a 22-year-old African American female straight out of college was purchasing a home and able to handle a mortgage. The underwriter actually went as far as contacting the loan processor and asking, “Why are her parent’s helping her purchase a home? ” This made her feel as though the underwriter expected them not to have money because of their race. She does not feel that being African American affected her home life because both of her parent’s were very supportive, loving Ana worker Nora to De addle to provoke Tort tenet two children.
Her values are her life, family, friends, education, Job and everything that she has worked so hard to achieve. Overall, she would like teachers to know that not all African Americans are the same. Some do have values and beat the stereotypical environments that they come from. “We are a highly intelligent group of individuals who are very creative and expressive. ” (Davis, 2013). I believe that teachers need to press beyond the stereotypes within today’s culture when it comes to any particular group of individuals.
I chose this group in particular because it is the same group hat a majority of my students are a part of. By interviewing this incredible young woman I was able to get a more in-depth look into the struggles that she has lived. Many of these struggles my students will also face within their lifetime and while I am unable to prevent my students from facing these challenges I may be able to effect how they handle them. I want my students to understand that sometimes life is going to be tough and there will be people who will try to bring you down but you need to push through and stand strong.
I want my students to understand that they are capable of anything that they set their mind to and work to accomplish. I as a teacher need to fully understand what my students are going through to better accommodate learning in my classroom. While I may never have to face these struggles myself, understanding and accepting these challenges will allow me to become a better teacher. Sources: African Americans. (2013, April). Retrieved from http://en. Wisped. Org/wick/ African_American Davis, T. (2013, March 28). Interview by R. L. Witt 0. Diversity project interview.