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Faces&Voices


AN ANTHOLOGY
OF VERSE, PROSE

AND ART

by
the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,
2001-200
2

  Contents
  Authors & Artists
  Home

E. R. BRAITHWAITE
Professor

Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5



Reactions on Reading To Sir, With Love
Shara D. Taylor
Memphis, Tennessee - International Business

        Throughout our lives, we are faced with having to deal with people who try to hurt us with their words. This is especially true for Black Americans. If we respond quickly and negatively we will fall victim to the stereotype that Black people are hot-tempered and overly sensitive. If we decide not to respond at all, we will be classified as pushovers. Because of this, we are put in the awkward position of deciding whether or not to speak up for ourselves. This type of treatment may come from any source imaginable, including strangers, co-workers, students, and friends. For Mr. Braithwaite, it comes in the form of a fellow teacher by the name of Mr. Weston.
        Braithwaite does everything in his power not to lose his temper and play into Weston’s hands. “I was becoming a bit irritated by the smile and the unnatural patronizing good humor,” Braithwaite reveals. Braithwaite possesses a tremendous amount of strength and courage in order for him not to respond to Weston. If faced with this same situation, many people would have put Weston “in his place” the first time that he made a sly, devilish remark. Because Braithwaite knows that he may not be able to find another job, he maintains his composure and ignores the comments. By not reacting, Braithwaite shows us an alternate way to handle this type of ignorance. Many of us are quick to respond without thinking through all of our options carefully. If we take a lesson from Mr. Braithwaite, we will see that there is always another way to deal with a problem.


© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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