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Longhorn Confidential

Longhorn Confidential

Happy Black History Month!

Black Power Movement

Last semester, I took Black Power Movement from Dr. L. Moore.  It was the absolute best class I’ve ever taken at the University of Texas.  I was challenged in ways that I never been challenged before.  What I enjoyed the most about this class was the passion that Dr. Moore had for the subject.  He honestly believed in what he was teaching.

When I came into the classroom for the first time, I had no idea what to expect.  I heard testimonials and read facebook statuses from friends who had taken the class.  Most of them told me that it was a life changing experience that gave students, especially those of color pride in themselves and their history.

I was not well-versed in my history and I had not delved deep into the stories and culture of my ancestors.  In grade school, the only figure I really remember learning about was Martin Luther King Jr.  Even those lectures were limited to the “I have a dream” speech.

I have a dream now…

Being in a class with a professor of color, learning about people of color, had a major impact on my growth as a student.  Academically, I experienced one of the best semester grade point averages in my college career.  I became more involved in volunteer work, extracurricular activities and more informed in random discussions on “race” with friends.  The most incredible benefit of taking Black Power Movement was a confirmation of career path. After undergrad, I want to go to Graduate school to study Latinos of African Descent.  I am particularly interested in the artistic performances of Black communities in Latin America. I could totally see myself being a professor; a really engaging and enthusiastic one at that!  Now, I’m minoring in African and African Diaspora StudiesTwo of my classes African American Theatre History and Afro-Latinos: A history and culture are classes in that department.

Back on my volunteer grind…

One of my passions is service and this semester, I am proud to say I’ve been fairly consistent at doing it (which is hard!).  One week I volunteered with my friends planting trees at the park, another week at the Blind Cafe with my friend Paulina and this week I volunteered at the 26th Annual Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights 2012. It turns out two of my friends Jordan and Lebon were  hosting the event.

My favorite volunteer pursuit is translating English documents into Spanish for the Theatre Action Project.

Volunteering with (L-R) Courtney, Krishna, Claudia, Fiona and Tiffany planting trees!

Volunteering with (L-R) Courtney, Krishna, Claudia, Fiona and Tiffany planting trees!

Our amazing group of volunteers!

Our amazing group of volunteers!

(Below) Volunteering at the Blind Cafe ticketing table with some cool people!

Volunteering at the Blind Cafe with some awesome the Blind Cafe.

This week and part of next week will mark the beginning of “midterm” or as I like to call it “mini-Hell(o)” week.   My independent Spanish study passion has been interrupted with Biology flash cards.  I’m not a big fan of biology and the new UT Memes page does not help my urge to procrastinate.  My favorite is the Meme is the one featuring Mr. Junior of the Wendy’s in the Union.

Jorge and I trying to study for this wave of exams

Jorge and I trying to study for this wave of exams

I ended it with a UT Service Scholars meeting where we learned about the financial ins and outs of running a Non-Profit.  UT Service Scholars is still in its growing stages and its something special to see the members get to know each other.  One of my friends  Ana Laura (Fellow UT Service Scholar) left to Washington D.C. this semester to intern in Washington.  Our organization is full of amazing bright leaders.

Ana Laura and I hanging out before she left to Washington D.C.

Ana Laura and I hanging out before she left to Washington D.C.

Lesson #__: Appreciate your culture; appreciate your dreams.

This post can be summed up with one main thought.  Learn about yourself.  Not just your likes, dislikes and grievances but your culture and identity.  Once you learn about that you will be able to appreciate others.  In that appreciation, you find the confidence to go after your dreams.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t happen overnight.  BUT WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN…YOU WILL KNOW IT.

Happy Black History Month!

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February 16, 2012 | | By Jelisa | 2 Comments

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