This summer it will be nine years since I left Greensboro, NC, for the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. I was headed to a Summer Pre-doctoral Fellow program. I’d complete my PhD in History there, having taken earlier coursework at the University of Chicago where I earned an MA in History.I remember the sense of community in my fellow Pre-doctoral Fellows.
I most remember the smiles.
We were all people of color.
Three of us would end up in the History program.
Since then, I have crossed paths with many of those fellows who were part of a needed cohort. As a mid-career student who was old enough to be the mother of a good many of them, I never felt like I was out of place. The support to be found that summer was unmatched.
Below is a video featuring one of my fellow fellows. Her name is Jasmine Roberts. I just heard her TEDTalk on an important issue. Her thoughts on the attempts to level the playing field with larger historical unjust acts in mind are amazing. Her comments about a student who “got” it was equally touching. Listen below: