I attended a school events during the black history month. There were two speakers and they talked about black slavery and segregation. It was a good basic introduction to Civil Rights in America and how we can reframe our ideas about this. To me, however, their lectures were a little different than what I expected. In my opinion the lectures were quite conventional and not enough to engaged. Beside, I wondered how those white professors can perfectly understand the unimaginable painful history, tragic sorrow and indignity of the black people in America.
I was more inspired by a female speaker at the very end who shared her story about her ancestors being enslaved and how real it is to her. The reason why her speech resonated with me and many audience members was because her story is real, and she is a part of the real history of black slavery.
Some young people think slavery and segregation is in the past and is water under the bridge. As the final speaker mentioned, sometimes when it comes to tragic history, some people are reluctant to hear and talk about it because it makes them very uncomfortable.
Slavery was clearly abolished, but we need to remember it and learn from it. Through her ancestor’s first hand experience, I strongly empathized with her emotions, because Korea was once conquered by Japan for 35 years. My ancestors also lost their country, families, freedom and dignity as humans. Both situations are not part of my direct experiences, so I would never know how these people really felt. However, I can guess those tragic histories left permanent scars on a large number of people.
Unfortunately, the historical mood and culture are still left in our society in the form of racism. In order to understand the history of slavery and segregation more accurately, I think, we should listen to the voices of African-Americans who really went through it rather than the white people. To really overcome the problems of the segregation and racism, we need to listen to the victims and minority voices more.