Letter to the editor: You get what I’m saying?


Adekemi Adekanle

I refuse to be an educator. So please do not ask me to explain why I would prefer to leave my bonnet on if I am not leaving my home or why I choose to do my hair on a certain day I call wash day. And, please do not ask me why I do not wash my hair every day or every other day. It is just not in my capacity to explain. You see, I simply am not an educator, I refuse to be one for many reasons; the biggest reason being, I am not paid to be an educator. I do, in fact, pay tuition to be a student. A student who walks into an African American based class to not see an African American educator, has to prove that they are here because of their academic abilities, and has to question if a situation is occurring just because I am Black. 

And to answer the question; yes, it is happening because I am Black. You see, I refuse to be an educator because it just simply is not my job. Just like any student here, my job is to be a student. So please do not ask me how I am able to use the bathroom with the length of my nails. 

And before you ask, no, my hair does not make me unprofessional, I will not give you a free pass, and no, I do not have an easier name you can call me. For the last time, I am not an educator, I am a student. 

Being an educator is a choice, and learning is a privilege. And if today is the rare day that I decide to be an educator, because once again, it is not my job, make sure to listen. There is truth behind my words. Power behind my voice. Experience in my stories. My stories are not fairytales. Do not ask me to play educator, then dismiss my knowledge. You see, I am not paid to attend my lectures every day, I pay to attend my lectures every day. I am a student.

I am a student whose favorite color is brown and my favorite genre of music is neo-soul. I am a daughter, a younger and older sister. I like to laugh, am extremely shy and take my education seriously. Goats are my favorite animal. Sitting in the sun brings me joy, and when everyone complained about poetry in school, I secretly loved it. I am Black educator, I mean Black student. You get what I’m saying?