According to a study by Johnson-Ahorlu’s (2013), African American students experienced racial stereotypes, which were presented to them as attacks on their academic capabilities. Many of the “attacks” included shock from faculty and peers when they achieved in the classroom and inquiries about their abilities to handle the course workload. I began my life as one of the statistics we read about. More specifically, the “poor Black kid” in inner-city Detroit Michigan who aspired to live a much better life. Although I grew up with very limited financial resources, my support system taught me to remain confident in the face of adversity. Additionally, I was often reminded that I was just as accomplished as other students in my class, no matter their race or status. While obtaining my undergraduate and graduate degrees I witnessed verbal, behavioral, environmental, intentional, and unintentional forms of discrimination presented as microaggressions. This paper will explore two examples of microaggressions that I have encountered at the hands of my peers while attending graduate school, in addition to the resilience and life lessons that have followed me well into my current career.
Harness, Sean E.
"Hard Work Through Heart Work: Life Lessons Learned through My Lens of Microaggressions,"
Journal of Multicultural Affairs: Vol. 6:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/jma/vol6/iss1/4
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