Reaching Out to the Ones We Match
In the essay The Development of the Black Revolutionary Artist written by James T. Stewart, elaborates within the idea of “black and white” as composed statuses based off of values, beliefs, and perceptions one carries. According to Stewart, “The models must be non-white. Our models must be consistent with a black style, our natural aesthetic styles, and our moral and spiritual styles. In doing so, we will be merely following the natural demands of our culture”(Stewart 3).
As I was sitting down in the lobby of the Read Hall on IU’s campus studying for my AAAD- A 132 class, I saw a man walk into the doors of the lounge that was perceived to be white. Observing this man that presumed to be lost, he looked at the people that surrounded him as if he was in a debate. To take note, I was the only white female sitting down in the lobby among my fellow young peers that were not imaged of my race. As he frantically looked around, I gave a quick glance his way as I noticed he was proceeding towards me. Out of everyone he came to me. After helping the young male out, it arose the questions “Why me?”, “Was it because I gave him eye contact?”, “Was it because I was WHITE?”. Not every individual would just go up to a stranger and ask for assistance no matter what they needed help with. Like others, it’s easier to seek out collaboration if you find a similarity within a person. In this circumstance, the young man and I both had the same skin color. But does my skin color give me a chance to be approachable over the other individuals in the room looking through this gentlemen’s eyes?
Connecting to what Stewart had to say in his essay and my personal experience, strands are made up within a society that direct individuals to who, what or when they approach someone. Considering that coloration is an issue to some people in this society, Stewart’s choice of moral and spiritual demands play a huge part enclosed by the judgement one makes about either a person, place, or thing.
This experience affected me in a variety of ways. I had the feelings from feeling privileged to assist another member of the community all the way to feeling upset for the others in the room for being avoided because they were a different skin color (this is presumed if this gentlemen only approached me because of my skin color). Even if I read into too much depth within this circumstance, reading people’s actions and observing the way they talk helps clear up a picture of who they are as an individual. Like Dr. Seuss says, “A person’s a person, No matter how small”.
Be careful before you judge another person, for your fire will only keep on burning if there is oxygen given.