Back on track! This book! Amazing!
I wish that I could ask that everyone in the entire country read books like this. I think that our perspectives would be completely changed. I think that we would look outside of ourselves a little bit more, and understand just how different life is for those in poor areas. Those that honestly don't have a chance to get out of where they are, because the system is continuing to fail them.
I don't know what it is like to be so poor that you don't have food. I don't know what it is like to not have a family that will help me out if I need it. I don't know what it is like to be touched inappropriately and just expected to endure it. I don't know what it is like for teachers to not see the potential in me. To be expected to never amount to anything. None of these things are truth for me, but they are for so many!
Reading this book broke my heart, but gave me hope. Hope that we can change this world. Hope that the dialogue can be open. I truly hope and pray that I can live in a way that helps make our schools, and our communities more equal for everyone.
Some of the quotes from this book, and why I liked them....
"When my turn came, rather than give my usual spiel, I wandered aloud whether or not it was the systems that were broken rather than the people. I spoke about the need to examine the institutions and structures in society and in the communities that impede rather than support self-sufficiency and economic mobility for individuals and families." - page 3
Within the first few pages of the book, she shows us her purpose. She shows the solution to what needs to happen in order for EVERYONE to have the chance to make it. No matter where we grow up, what type of community we are in, there are voices that speak to us. They tell us that we can make it, or they tell us we can't. I look forward to the day when EVERYONE no matter what has voices that are telling them they can!
"When these necessities are absent from communities, individuals and families are rightfully preoccupied with basic survival. And those who are able to succeed despite the lack of these foundational conditions are likely to be perceived as extraordinary or exceptional superhumans of a sort." -page 9
So much of this! How can we get to a place where we expect EVERYONE to succeed? We shouldn't be surprised when person of color makes it. That should not be the expectation. They are as smart and as capable as everyone else. Yet, this quote is so true! This needs to change! Oh how this needs to change!
"As a brown-skinned girl born to a teenaged mother, I had a low bar of success. No one in my family had finished high school, and because we were poor, I did not expect much ore than what I had, which was very little." -page 13
This low bar. This is exactly what needs to change. How many kids are walking around thinking that there is no hope. Thinking that because of who their family is, they are not going to move past that story. Their life has already been determined? My heart breaks thinking about it.
"I believe this is true for most children who live in poverty. They deny, conceal, and stuff down the pain and violence they experience in order to make it to the next day." Page 37
Not just in poverty, but I would even say those that live in hard homes. Homes where they have been cast aside. Or homes where they are never enough. It is easier to just push it down and leave it in order to make it through life. But that means that there is a lot that is not dealt with, and this is the worst kind of way to live.
"Although we all swam in the same pool, we were still very much segregated and kept to ourselves. We did not like to talk to other swimmers, who did not look like us. An invisible line, like a buoyed rope, separated us." -page 82
We still have this line, but it isn't just in dealing with those who don't look like us. There is so much more that divides us these days. Where do we start? How do we move past what divides us, and cling to what we have in common? We have to, or we are going to just continue swimming farther and father apart, until there is no longer any interaction at all!
This book! I have so many more quotes that I wrote down. It would take me another couple of pages to write them all down. I am thankful for this story. I am thankful for the way that she allows me to understand more of what I do not know, but need to.