Self Identity

I decided this week to take a break from talking about my project and just take the opportunity to talk about my identity. It was very interesting to learn in class this week about how different people identify themselves. One of the most interesting exercises we did was completing the “I am…” phrase in sixty seconds, similar to what Beverly Tatum did in her own classes. It was surprising to me that the results were merely the same, for example, how students of color usually mention their race or ethnic group. The idea that when a person is a member of a dominant social group they usually don’t mention it because it a part of their identity that they take for granted. Lastly, another part I really liked about lecture this week was the aspect of getting to hear the very famous Ted talk “The Danger of a Single Story” where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie leaves viewers with something bigger to think about. Something more than just stereotyping someone, not being able to understand their full story. With all this being said I will speak on my own experience. I was one of those people who when given the assignment to complete the phrase “I am…” followed similar patterns as to what Tatum was talking about such as my race/ethnicity, being a woman, etc. Being raised in a community and going to school where there were not always students of color in my classes made me sometimes lose my sense of idenity. I sometimes felt out of place or why everyone would regard me in a certain way based off it. It is kind of crazy to think about how as individuals we hold the power knowingly or unknowingly to create a single story about someone. Something important we talked about in discussion this week was the fact that we cannot blame a person for not knowing or understanding about others because they have not been placed in such a situation. However, it is up to them if they are willing to learn about it because they are the only ones who have the power to do so. Tatum stated something else important in her article stating “For those who are in the dominant racial category, it may be sometimes difficult to take in what is being said by and about those who are targeted by racism” (Tatum). Certain things such as “white privilege” might not be evident to a white person even though those outside of the race might be able to see it clearly. Another important thing I took out of discussion is that our identities are constantly changing and evolving as we grow as people. Which is why it is important to know what aspects of our identities are most important to us.

This really ties in with my overall medium story as I will be trying to understand the life of different types of students at the University of Minnesota. I will do everything in my power to make sure their story does not become a single story. It is important for the audience to be able to connect on a personal level with others as part of their experiences and identities match up.