Op-Ed: I pushed my kids to succeed academically to escape racism. But it doesn’t work that way, does it?
I moved to the United States from Jamaica at the age of four. My grandmother, whom I call “Granny,” was determined that I go to college. Without hesitation, I packed my bags, flew to Chicago and followed her to the University of Chicago, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in three years, including my sociology major. While at University of Chicago, I also was able to take my mother to a different university, UH, the University of Houston, where I graduated with my first two degrees: a BS in Math and a Masters in Philosophy.
While in University of Chicago, I also took two foreign language units and three classes (Sociology, Music, and World Languages and Cultures). I took a class in sociology at UH but couldn’t focus on that class due to the time demands of the school system. I was a part-time student during my entire time there, and at the time, wasn’t able to take time off to pursue my career. That’s why I chose to study a major as a minor.
I took my sociology coursework and was able to take the class in Spanish, which allowed me to study abroad at the University of Barcelona for the semester. I was also able to focus on studying abroad in order for me to focus on my major, the Spanish Civil War, which I was interested in. I was able to focus my time by taking a class. I was able to get my Bachelors in Sociology because I was able to focus on all the time I was able to focus on. I wasn’t always able to focus on it due to the demands of the school system, but I was able to focus on my education because of it.
During my time at University of Chicago, I was also able to be the president of my chapter of the University of Chicago chapter of Delta Sigma Theta at the time because of the leadership skills I had gained from my time as a student-athlete with the University of Chicago A.C.