Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute › Forums › 2020 BHLI Cohort Engagement › From Separate to Equal and The 1619 Project › Reply To: From Separate to Equal and The 1619 Project
From Separate to Equal Response:
a) The first emotions that came to my mind while watching the documentary were a mixture of anger and shame of our society. Anger at the fact that such blatant racism existed in the not-so-distant past and shame at the fact that, even tho events such as the ones in the documentary took place not even a generation ago, this major part of our history is often hidden and rarely incorporated into our educational system’s curriculums and conversations. However, the more I watched and heard from interviewees, the more pride I felt in the astonishing adversity that was overcome by this city’s black and other minority doctors and for the legacy that they were able to establish.
b) What really stuck out to me was the confidence with which doctors that went through this experience spoke with. Despite all the cards being stacked against them, not one spoke with tones of victimization. This attitude of strength and courage is imperative to have in an environment in which society, not only expects you to fail, but also works against you. Anecdotes, such as the one in which the black medical student had to pose as a janitor in order to spectate surgical operations, are a source of great inspiration that depict a people that are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead and beat the system.
The 1619 Project Response:
a) Although it was difficult to read about the atrocities committed by the people of this country to its own people, it is strengthening to see how, in many aspects, times have changed. It was very empowering to read about descendants of slaves who graduated from law schools and now hold the power to fight the very laws and attitudes that once enchained them. The more educated we are, the more effectively we will be able to fight the hate produced by ignorance.
b) When reading about this country’s history, whether it be in this magazine or in general, I always feel a strong sense of hypocrisy. When I was in elementary school, I attended a predominantly white school. During these years, our minds are easily shaped and morphed by teachers and what they tell us. In my school and in many, if not almost all, we are taught of how great the ideals of our founding fathers are, those being justice and equality. And it is almost always taught in a way that never paints any sort of negative picture around that. Even in high-school, I remember spending less than a week on the topic of slavery and the effect it had on the African-American community after its abolition, yet we would spend weeks and months learning about how our country was shaped by the accomplishments of white politicians, entrepreneurs, and authors.