An Open Letter to Melissa Harris-Perry From a Grateful Student
Dear Professor Harris-Perry:
When the news broke that you would no longer be appearing on MSNBC, it signaled the end of a very important era for me. I was in graduate school at Princeton University when President Barack Obama was sworn into office as our first black president, a time when we could only speculate what his administration might mean for race in America. Shortly afterward, I enrolled in your course.
For me as a black woman from a working-class family, stepping onto Princeton University’s campus was a culture shock in many ways. The amount of money and proximity to power that students possessed made it seem impossible for a daughter of a grocery clerk to compete. As much as I ultimately enjoyed my program, some days were more frustrating than others: students questioning my intelligence, making comments about the way I look; even a professor stereotyping my hometown of Oakland, Calif., a place I’m proud to be from.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Root. Click here to view the full article.
The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.
Associate Director, Poverty to Prosperity Program