The Beauty In Learning About Others Culture
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The Beauty In Learning About A New Culture

Why it is important that in school and in our lives we take the time to step back and learn about who we all are as people, learn about the different cultures and backgrounds that make us unique and special from everyone else, why is it so special that we are fundamentally different from one another?

The Beauty In Learning About A New Culture

If I were asked by a peer of mine to reflect and answer the questions, "What is this course? What did you learn from it? Why should I take it?" I would have to take some time in order to sort together with a proper answer but there are some major points of success and interest that I would touch on in my answer. Instantly what comes to mind is the variety of topics discussed in this course as well as how Dr. Carter creates a safe and beautiful space for us to have open and honest discussions about some of the harsh truths that consist of African American culture and are therefore reflected in the literature in which we examined together. It is a course that delves into the intricate details of what truly entails the life and experience that African American people and more specifically, authors have gone through in their lives and why is it so important that we keep their stories and their overall history alive by continuing to purchase, read, and discuss openly about the literature.

In order to truly get even just get a glimpse into the lives of some of these authors as well as just get a slight look into what African American culture and life truly looks like, we look into and discuss such a wide variety of authors who are all notable creators of life and art and have created their own renaissance of culture through their stories. Not only did we look into quite a large selection of writers, for many of the writers that produced shorter stories, but we also looked into various works from each author allowing us to identify the different styles that they implemented repeatedly in their work as well.

Overall, I highly recommend this class and have truly enjoyed my experience in it. I am thankful for his class that has taught me not just so much more about African-American literature and culture, but about life, who I am as a person, and how not to take for granted the things in life that I have been given. The specific author that reflects the most of who I am as a person and writer, as well as someone who will continue to have a great impact on me in the future, is Zora Neale Hurston. I have admired Zora's work since the days of me being in high school and in my AP Literature class and first being introduced to her work.

One of the works that Zora Neale Hurston published that hit me very deeply was her work, "Sweat" (1926). Highlights the struggles that African American men feel in society and in their households as well as the struggles African American women go through to find their voice and stand up for themselves. The themes here are good vs. evil and the struggle for power and respect in society. A specific quote that really got to me from this was, '"You aint got no business doing it. Gawd knows it's a sin. Someday Ah'm gointuh drop dead from some of yo' foolishness."' (Hurtson, Anthology, pg. 1032).

This quote really connected to me because it showed the fear that the protagonist had and the struggles that she was truly facing as her husband also went through his own struggles with finding out where he fits on a power structure and dealing with a displacement of power. These stories that have been shared by authors and storytellers such as Hurston as so important for us to continue to keep reading and working hard to keep alive. It is thanks to these people that we know about our own history and culture as well as the histories and cultures of others.

Another piece of Hurston's that truly impacted me and along with the previous example is "Their Eyes Were Watching God" (1937). Story of Janie Crawford's quest to find true love, the story of her three marriages and her such for love to her friend Phoebe. Her life lessons were woven into themes of love and miss love, power and domination, and inequality and discrimination throughout the novel. This novel really gets me because I was introduced to it roughly 4 years ago in high school and not a school year goes by where I do not think of it and feel like it has made a positive impact in my life. A specific quote from this novel that I feel I was really able to connect with is, "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some, they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men." (Anthology, 1070-1071). This quote resonates with me and has stayed with me for the past 4 years and will past this semester and class because it truly works to set up one of the most powerful works written to this date.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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