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#3294: Another reply to Mihoko (fwd)
From: Karen Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you, Guy Antoine,
for your perceptive response to Mihoko. Fear of foreigners is just
another fear that we humans are apt to give into, Haitians, & everyone else.
I am a white woman of the southern & midwestern USA. I have always
been fascinated with other ways of being in the world--ways other than the
ones I was taught were absolute.
So now, at 56, I teach Caribbean studies & African textile arts &
Haitian paintings & Lakota history and cosmology & Buddhist philosophy.
These are not my biological heritages. But we are all cousins, and these are
parts of my cultural heritage--parts I had to learn as an adult since they
were denied me in earlier years.
I know that a few of my students must sneer about a white woman
teaching African or Haitian arts, but I know that this is where I am meant
to be, and that my students need to learn this, even if they'd rather learn
it from a Black teacher--they can now become those Black teachers.
This is who I am. And my enthusiasm for Haitian art is me, like my
love of Polish pysanky (which I did not learn from my Polish relatives,
either, since none of them did this!), like my love of French fairy tales
And is my Haitian husband not allowed to come to the USA., to learn
English, or enjoy rap music, or snow-ski, or talk about the USA, because
he's a "foreigner?" Shall we be fragile and let people tell us what we must
not love or learn or know? I hope not. If I did not teach my students what
little smidgens I do know of Haitian art, history, and philosophy, they
would continue in good old USA ignorance & lies.
Mihoko, if you did not reach out to Haiti, how would we have met
You go, girl!