Thursday, July 5th, 2007

A View On School Integration From A Young Black Woman

In this powerful piece from Pop+Politics, artist Vivianne Njoku talks about being front-row at the school integration wars:

I was thirteen going on fourteen and already sure of what I was going to be as an adult: an artist. For as long as I can remember, I have known that I receive a great deal of satisfaction and even feel a sense of “completion” from creating art. The year I turned fourteen, I found myself spending a great deal of time with my older brother and his best friend, a bona fide artiste who studied at a very faraway school that, despite its reputable art-immersion program, was known throughout my county, Prince George’s County, Maryland, as a “rough one.”

Even though the program accepted students based on potential for artistic growth as well as academic merit, the school itself possessed a high minority and underprivileged population and what appeared to be a lot of “troubled cases” flowing in from the nearby District of Columbia; infamous for being home to more than a fair share of “rough ones.” Regardless, I set my sights on making this school and this program the place I was to spend my high school years. I still vividly remember driving to the school with my mother on the evening of my audition; it was a very long forty minutes…

Read it all here

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