Misperceiving Privilege and its Role

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In the early 20th century United States, racial privilege was well established, and Zora Neale Hurston examined perceptions and misperceptions of privilege in her book, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston’s novel was so controversial, largely due to her examination of privilege and its intersectionality. Janie, the protagonist, is a woman of color, and an independent one at that. Her oppressions, both from being a person of color and a woman, are highlighted throughout the…

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Three Things Maya Angelou’s Childhood Taught Us About Adulthood

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Maya Angelou’s autobiographical masterpiece I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a one-of-a-kind work of literature that is sure to grab a firm hold on readers’ hearts. It is a whirlwind of a story, leading readers through her encounters with racism, sexual abuse, teen homelessness, motherhood, and a slew of other trials and tribulations at an early age. After reading her story, it is easy to say that even just throughout her childhood, Angelou…

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Our shared past and present: a faculty statement of support

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In 1873, Drury was founded by Congregationalists, many of whom were abolitionists, to “help heal the wounds of the Civil War” and provide a strong academic education in the liberal arts. Springfield, Missouri was chosen, in part, as it was an area that had been so scarred by the war; it was a place in need of continued healing. The university’s founders envisioned an institution that would offer students, including women, Native Americans, and those…

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Never Underestimate the Power of Kindness

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As I schlepped from the Jersey hinterlands into Brooklyn each morning, there were a few personal, humanizing encounters I looked forward to, that made my daily two-hour commutes bearable: –The conductor on the 5:32 train, who always noticed when I sat somewhere other than by the four-seater, near the car’s only electrical outlet. He never failed to have a smile – even at that ung-dly hour, and even after thirty-five years on the job. –The…

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