I am personally grateful for community, commonality, and similarities, but I also understand the importance of embracing diversity. Commonality in my community meant we had a common denominator of being black, uneducated and poor. Most of us felt we had been dealt a bad hand and stuck in a situation we could not get out of. Therefore, we had the attitude of “them against us.” I felt as if I was a victim of oppression. Most of my negative feeling came from association with people who felt like and acted like me. We looked at our similarities and their differences. However, differences and diversity is something I have now learned to embrace and I am more open-minded to new ideas. I no longer stigmatize based on gender and race or hold onto dogmas. I am open to integration, segregation, and diversification. I have found the more I am open to different people, the more I can learn and understand others. When I am open-minded I am able to have a new and positive perspective of diversity and individual experience. Diversification is a way up and out to anyone who is open to look up at the similarities instead of down at the differences. We are all different from one another, but let’s not look at our differences, let’s embrace our similarities.
By: A. Allen July 5, 2016