Lack of connection with culture saddening

Disconnect with African-American roots disturbing

By Ejhane' Lyons, Middle College High School student

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I am a student at Middle College High School on the Contra Costa College campus. I read “Shameful society focused on race” by Rodney Woodson, Oct. 1.

I became disturbed and saddened all at once after reading the first sentence of this opinion article. It seems that  Woodson is ashamed of his African ancestry and does not want to be a part of it.

He identifies himself as “American” rather than “African-American” dismissing his African roots.

He states, “Embracing one’s culture and remembering ancestral origins is all fine and dandy, but at some point, enough has to be enough.”

I am not sure exactly what he means by that because there is not enough recognition of African culture to begin with.

He then goes on to bash the African-American graduation ceremony stating, “We don’t need an African-American graduation. It sounds a little too close to a ‘white’s only’ graduation?”

His opinion regarding the black graduation is all fine and good; however participation in the African-American graduation is up to everyone’s own discretion. No one is forcing all blacks to participate in the black graduation.

Although Woodson does not agree with the black graduation ceremony it does not mean that the right should be robbed from the other students who disagree with him.

I believe that every race should have their own graduation if they please to do so, in addition to the general graduation.

I personally will be participating in all the graduations that I am eligible to participate in because I have worked hard for my degrees and I want the recognition.

African-American graduation is important to me because blacks deserve the right to be recognized for doing something good. It is too often that we get recognized for doing bad things.

Woodson argues his point very well, however I do not agree. His disassociation from his African roots simply amazes me.

His identification as “American” does not take away any of the melanin in his skin. The way he speaks is definitely influenced by the African blood that runs deep throughout his body because “American” certainly is not a language.

Perhaps there is a disconnection between his racial background and the life he lives here in the Americas; however we do not have to visit Africa to know where we come from. He seems to be confused with differentiating race and culture.

I suggest that Woodson registers for one of professor Carolyn Hodge’s courses because I’m sure he will walk away with a new outlook on life and who he is as a person.

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