Culture in Education
When we are younger our minds are constantly being molded to different ideas. Sometimes those ideas are positive and at times, negative. When there are negative ideas floating through a young brain it can produce a negative outcome. It can make one scared to feel opposite of what they are being taught to feel, and it can make one afraid to follow what the heart is telling one to do, in Opal Palmer Adisa’s essay “Laying in the Tall Grasses, Eating Cane” Opal speaks of growing up in Jamaica. She talks of although growing up in a country full of culture and literature, while living there she had no idea such culture existed. It was only after she left her homeland that she learned of her country’s richness in culture and literature. The theme in Adisa’s essay was simply, lack of culture taught at a young age can breed certain ignorance towards one’s culture. It was only when she moved away from her homeland that she began to see the bias of how she was being taught as a child. She discovered a whole new love for her culture, and for her skill, writing.
When Adisa was growing up she was taught that her country had no history, had no literature, and that her native tongue was not the proper way of speaking. She was taught to speak in the “Queens language” and any author she read was almost always a dead, white man. Adisa even admits that she herself believed that a writer was “a synonymous with death” (185). She also felt the history she was being taught in school was “erroneous or at best lopsided and suspect” (185). She truly believed to become a writer you had to pass three qualifications. You had to be white, you had to be a man, and you had to be dead. Three qualifications that Adisa herself, was not. She admits that she would write for her own eyes only. It was a form of release for her. It was only after Adisa went to New York City that she began to see her own self-worth.
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