Unit 1 (.3) What makes us human?

The reading I found most interesting was “Black Skin, White Masks” by Fanon. How he started his introduction with an honest comment on how he is not an all-knowing being, followed by the fact that many believe themselves to be superior and called them idiots. Yet throughout his work, he depicts all of their reasoning and it’s baffling to hear what comes up.

Statements that say those who are colored should experience declivity so that they may grow to be better. It is believed to be the fault of the colored man for his struggles, because he holds onto problems of love and understanding, which are the things I believe that make us human, is the ability to face these emotional situations. However, it seems Fanon, like Locke and Kant, believes that these are the reasons that make us human. Such as learning French to be closer to “human”, which is linked to being white. To them, I must ask: Why must colored people prove their intellect to others? Don’t you think the life experiences of these people allow them to be better human beings and more empathetic creatures? Why must human worth be based on intellect or how much one can reason?

Similarly, in the past few months, I’ve learned that many students of color have had to try and prove themselves of belonging at Davidson. This idea first became evident to me when Professor Issac Bailey was explaining the motives of his book, My Brother Moochie. There were times where he felt like he didn’t belong and had to prove himself. During my first semester at Davidson, I’ve had several friends who’ve stressed themselves out over grades because they’ve felt pressure from their peers or parents. A pressure for black excellence, for the first generation, to break the cycle and students to make the most of their opportunity due to the sacrifices their families made. These are just pressures from home, that which the institution brings are more psychological and seen through microaggressions.