Education is not just a privilege, but a right. The right to having an education is legally guaranteed for all without any discrimination. States must protect, respect, and fulfill the right to an education. However, this was not always the case. Minorities in the world all over have not always had the same rights that the majority have had and therefore this opportunity to go out and take their education has been more of a focal point as we look back on history.
For African Americans, different setbacks like legal slavery, segregation, and even illegal constant racial violence, have made it difficult to pursue an education in the first place. In Adrienne Rich’s “Claiming an Education,” the opportunity to go get an education has been made possible for me and other future generations of minorities.
Adrienne Rich in her essay implies in her first argument that young people must go out and take what is rightfully their responsibility, and that is to pursue their education.
She highlights women in particular to be the owners of their potential successes. Rich makes the valuable point that women need to be seen as intellectual beings rather than just “sexual objects” of their professors who may not always take them seriously when it comes to schooling. I believe this is an interesting idea because looking back in history, I’ve seen where women, no matter their ethnicity, social status, etc. have been ridiculed, beaten, and even humiliated by society in numerous ways which ultimately over time, have degraded them to second class status.
They are seen as lesser than men or people who can’t do the same tasks as men at the same quality level. This is why Rich is so passionate about her argument because not only is she a feminist, but growing up she was and remains consistently prideful in her fight for women’s rights and women’s movements. These movements and struggles inspire her in her craft and why she is persistent that young people especially women, take advantage of education and every opportunity. Taking advantage of this right is a big idea because, with education, you attain value in society. Perceiving Rich’s argument, I believe she wants women to stand up for something that she and many other women before have been fighting for decades to have, and that is the same opportunities. I would have to agree with Rich on the seriousness of this issue of when people take for granted these daily opportunities to add value to their life. Being a woman is one thing, but an educated woman doing things to benefit her life is a dangerous woman, to say the least. The same goes for any minority in this country struggling to appreciate the value of education and the potential perks and rewards that come with it.
Racial Backlash in the late 1800s and even early 1900s directed by white Americans, the mob, and the KKK, pressured African Americans to shy away from wanting an equal education or potentially gaining one. Especially education through public schools because they didn’t want desegregation in their all-white schools. It wasn’t until Brown v Board of Education in 1954, that the Supreme Court would declare that segregation in all public schools would be deemed unconstitutional. African Americans took advantage of this full opportunity despite the initial fear. Nonetheless, this freedom to attend any University would give whites an overall fear that the knowledge would give people of color power, and eventually, they were right. People of color took advantage of a once corrupt system and now find ways to affect the public whether it’s through music, sports, fashion, television, etc. For example, Fox News’s anchor, Laura Ingraham responded to LeBron James and Kevin Durant after airing out their thoughts on President Donald J. Trump and his leadership tactics through their respective platforms. Ingraham responded, calling them “ignorant” and telling them to just “shut up and dribble.” Lebron and Durant took these unnecessary comments by the anchor to ignite a new movement. “More than an Athlete” is Lebron’s slogan for athletes all over the world and minorities. This movement intends to use your voice to take a stand against the injustices this country may still stand for. Here is an African American male, often seen as negative in society, using his platform to educate those who look up to him. I find Lebron as being one of the most profound athletes in all of the sports not just from a basketball standpoint, but from an intellectual standpoint as well. His ability to incite the youth, women, minorities, etc. attests to the kind of genuine person he is. In an interview on if young athletes should want to strive to be like him, Lebron’s response was “there are enough games in the world, be greater than me.” Lebron’s character helps not just athletes, but students and all people strive for greatness.
American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, a descendant of great-great-grandparents who were property, use that motivation to drive her forward daily. Growing up in a troubled situation, where violence was very common, this desire to get outled her eventually enroll in HBCU Tennessee State University in 1971 as an escape route and this is where she began perfecting her craft in Nashville. She is well known for her talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which ultimately became the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally organized from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Oprah learned of her great grandparents at a young age. In an interview when asked about the documents of her great grandparents as property of another person, the response Oprah gave was, ‘It’s one of the reasons I work so hard. I feel like I have not even the right to be tired because I know I come from this.’ Oprah is the true definition of self-made success. Oprah is an inspiration for women all over the world and uses her craft to make a change. Her sponsorship and profound support of movements like the “MeToo” movement, and even presidential campaigns that include Barack Obama’s and Hilary Clinton’s just add to the list of many positive works she’s been at the head of. Due to her immense following, because of her work with her talk show and other different acts, she was able to reach many minorities and millennials during both presidential campaigns to give each candidate an edge to a degree. I believe many look up to Oprah because of her backstory. Many can relate to different parts of her story and that inspires young people, women, and even minorities to reach for the stars because Oprah truly came from nothing, went to school, claimed her education, perfected her craft, and now is one of the few billionaires in the world let alone self-made billionaires.