Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I have had this in writing for several days and wanted to share this with the group... July 12 2012 : Inclusion & Exclusion  As we have had over a week in South Africa, I can start to say that I feel a connection with the people of South Africa. As we began our journey here I have felt much more of a tourist from our accommodations to our tourist travels within the city of Johannesburg and mostly when we went into the community of Tk in Soweto. I have shared this feeling with a few of you, of what was my initial thought when I entered this community. When we entered and we were able to see and share our time with the children I automatically though of all the commercials of hungry children showed on television, as people who are in poverty and in need of our help - the American help, as we are "better" than others. As we have moved from our tourist attractions with TK Tours and into Bloemfontein to the University of the Free State ( U.F.S.) having conversations and interactions not only with faculty members of this institution, other scholars from around the world but also with students from South Africa, has been a wonderful experience thus far.   I am most grateful with not only being able to interact with students from UFS who are from Bloemfontein but also from other parts of South Africa, hearing their perspectives of what it is to be black, colored and white Africans in South Africa. Yesterday, I was able to enjoy some time with a group of white Africans, and it was quite nice and enjoyable. I felt that they included me in their lives, however when they spoke among themselves in Africans I felt the exclusion from them. This though brought me to a comment that a non-white student from South Africa had told me that "the white Africans speak horrible English because they don't try to learn the English," I felt her frustration when she stated this. This comment has bought me to  a question I have bad before and during this trip, why does South Africa continue to let students choose to have courses in Africans rather than English, if it was the language of the oppressor.  Today, I have come to my reason of attending this summit and my interest in research. Professor Pulms opened the discussion to start talking about one of the major themes of this summit -race and how privilege and power work together. I question why we have not been talking about that and why we did not start our summit with her speech and topic of reconciliation and  truth? I want to start having these conversations in order to understand where the people and most importantly the youth of South Africa is and where it's moving towards? Is reconciliation where they are standing or do they need to study their past not only looking at historical information but how it has affected the people of South Africa. Well these are my thoughts for now and I wish that we will addresses some of these issues as the summit continues if not within panel discussions but at least in our small groups.  -Emmy


  1. Now that I look back at this comment I am able to notice and come to the realization and their is much more to talk about than race.


  2. Emmy, I agree 100% with all that you have said. Although there are myriad disparities here, race and class are at the utmost importance in my opinion. One of the things that bother me the most daily is still the concept of the Africanse language translating the buildings on campus as well as conversations between students and workers (who are solely Black).