Center for American Progress

An Open Letter to Melissa Harris-Perry From a Grateful Student
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An Open Letter to Melissa Harris-Perry From a Grateful Student

Tracey Ross writes a thankful open letter to Melissa Harris-Perry.

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.

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Tracey Ross

Associate Director, Poverty to Prosperity Program

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