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Welcome Class of 2019!
The Vanderbilt community is invited to the panel discussion
“Memorial Hall: Its origin, history, and evolution”
6pm, Sunday, August 30, 2015
Student Life Center Ballroom
- James Floyd, Office of General Counsel
- David Williams, Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics
- Richard Blackett, Andrew Jackson Professor of American History
- Jalisia Singleton, A&S ’14, Teach for America, Co-Founder of Hidden Dores
- Vanessa Beasley, Moderator; Dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons and Associate Professor of Communications Studies
The program is a collaboration of the Office of the Dean of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, the Dean of Students office, Vanderbilt Student Government, Black Student Alliance, Vanderbilt NAACP, Project I Am, and Vanderbilt Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students (OBGAPS).
Please join us.
Artist Exhibit by Omari Booker
Why do I Smile? The Universal Unconcealed Weapon
The idea for this series began with the realization of the impurity of my smile. While I often smile due to pure joy, I found that there are a plethora of reasons that the corners of my mouth curl North.My smile is a survival instinct, comparable to ducking when I hear a loud noise. A smile often comes over my face when I am happy to see you, but the same smile is shown because i’m keenly aware of the fear my presence elicits.
I have found my smile to be a weapon. It is unconcealed, and has become an instinct of survival as much as joy. A smile is often the only weapon that can fight fire. A gun will always be met with a bigger gun eventually, but a smile has a way of disarming opposition at least for a moment.
The smile that people of color are expected to wear as a survival tactic in this country drives home the reality that we are in large part visitors and not home in America-even for Native Americans who have the only legitimate claim to the land. The smile that I learned to wear is a smile that makes other Americans comfortable with the fact that I am here. It also feeds the illusion that regardless of the discrimination and brutality that people of color undergo, we are happy and lucky to be here. Still, I smile, and will continue to… because the instinct to smile out of pure joy is also essential for survival.