I chose this course is because I listened to the audiobook Born A Crime by Trevor Noah on a road trip to Arizona last year. Hearing his story in his own words was humorous and heartwarming. I knew very little about South Africa, aside from being vaguely familiar with the notion of apartheid and the leader Nelson Mandela. Hearing Noah’s story made South Africa real and enticing. He is both black and white in a country where there are tensions between those two realities. Being bicultural (Mexican and American) in the U.S., his story resonated deeply with me. Last year, I visited Belfast and studied educational systems in post-conflict environments and I drew parallels to the plight of Latino students in urban settings in the U.S. Studying inclusive education in post-segregated South Africa will also shed light on the Latino educational experience in the U.S. I hope to learn about best practices for inclusive education that can be applied to Latino communities.
I have started reading A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Similar to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the race struggle in S.A. was also inspired by the civil rights movement in the U.S. There are parallels that exist(ed) between races in both countries – cognitive dissonance, need for unifying leaders, the grave ethical dilemma, etc. From watching the 2018 movie Chasing Feelings, I drew parallels to America’s attempt to define itself as post-racial society after President Obama’s election. The tension and residue from historical racial divide even in academic and intellectual settings still persists.