Just a reminder that the Writers Against Racism series is doubling up for the next week or so; be sure to check in morning and night so you don’t miss a single author spotlight! This morning we’re happy to welcome writer/activist/filmmaker Sofia Quintero; here’s part of her interview:
The most indelible message I received at school, however, came from some of the adults in power: being Latina I had no business being so bright. I was an annoying fluke. Being at the top of the class was tantamount to getting out of my place. One day the principal came to speak to my class, and at one point, looked dead at me and yelled, “… because some of us are not as smart as we think we are!” Mind you, I wasn’t an arrogant child. Quite the opposite! I excelled at school simply because I loved to learn and wanted to achieve to make my parents proud since they expected no less from me. So despite the constant rhetoric of meritocracy, I clearly got the message that someone of my race/ethnicity was not expected to excel, and if I did, I had better expect to be targeted by Whites who had power over me, intent on putting me back in my place.
I can totally relate, and remember each occasion when a teacher told me I had a “bad attitude” simply because I dared to question an idea raised in class….