Reclaiming My Time
By Tori Phelps
This essay is inspired by an essay prompt by an organization that I am in. With the help of my mom and Laura I was greatly inspired by all of the African American women that have made history.
I think about reclaiming our time, our history before slavery, the culture that was stolen from us. Before the slave trade, economic, political, and scientific developments were superior in Africa compared to other countries. African kingdoms had well-organized governments, as well as currency and international trade. Africans crafted luxurious items out of bronze, gold, ivory, and terracotta and excelled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Africa is acknowledged as the birthplace of many scientific developments. Engineering, mathematics, architecture, and medicine are associated with extensive political developments, such as the formation of states and monarchy.
To quote Bryan Stevenson: “Slavery gave America fear of black people and the taste for violent punishment.” The transatlantic slave trade falsified the views of the importance and history of the African continent.
In the words of Maxine Waters: “We can reclaim our time” by teaching students in schools about the true history and culture of the African continent. We must teach the importance of the culture and history of African Americans and introduce students to the rich and vibrant society that was Africa before slavery. We must acknowledge the wealth of achievement African Americans have made to a better society. We must acknowledge the strength of heroes like Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and came back to help others escape. We must teach children about Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, brilliant women who worked with NASA to help beat Russia in the space race.
Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas are two hard-working gymnasts. As African Americans, they were discriminated against because of their skin color. This discouraged them, but they never gave up on what they loved to do. Recently, a fifteen-year-old African American girl named Cori Gauff, also known as Coco Gauff, won one singles title and two doubles titles on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour. She is a former world No. 1 Junior Tennis player. Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and Cori Gauff are modern-day African Americans who are doing what they love and not giving up. Michelle Obama, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Cori Gauff, Harriet Tubman, Maxine Waters, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan have all reclaimed their time. They have brought light to the African American culture and they have made it known that African Americans are not just high school dropouts. They have shown people that African Americans are not afraid to speak out for what’s right. With these women as inspiring examples, I, Tori Phelps, will reclaim my time.
Hi! My name is Tori Phelps. I am a junior in high school. This is my second year in Girls Write Now. I like to play the violin, play basketball, sing, and write fictional stories and plays.