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My Story


Discuss the questions in pre writing and draft. Then form a final essay. Feel free to use sources but limited to 5

Pre-writing: I suggest that you begin to construct your own intellectual autobiography by addressing the following question: how or why did you wind up in a university course in Black World Studies? To get started, perhaps you can begin with a clean sheet of paper upon which you will write the question, “Who Am I?” Then answer the question, as if you were being asked by someone else who does not know you or anything about you (as I do not, yet). At this stage, do not worry about the “rightness” of your answers or ordering them in any logical manner. Most people can usually generate anywhere from between 10 and 15 answers to this question. Once you are done with that step, take a few moments to reflect upon the extent to which this list makes you both similar and dissimilar to others in the class who are answering the same question. As we have seen thus far in just one class meeting, there is both tremendous diversity and tremendous similarity among the students in the class. This pre-writing is a tool for starting to formulate your narrative and is not necessarily meant to be included in your final submission.

Draft writing: Now you are ready to begin crafting a narrative of your intellectual development up to this point in your life. You have the flexibility to write your story as you see fit, but as I outlined in class, you will want to include these three elements to frame your narrative: 1) identify and discuss briefly a person who has been instrumental in your intellectual development. This can be a parent or other family member or friend, or a coach, teacher, or religious leader; 2) discuss how a piece of writing you have read has shaped your sense of self and how you approach life; and 3) identify and explain why a certain artifact of popular culture captures and expresses who you are intellectually at this point in your life.

Final Submission: Your final draft, which is to be submitted online via niihka, should be 3-4 typed and double-spaced (and numbered!) pages, with one-inch margins on either side.

**Important Note: This assignment is designed with two separate but related purposes in mind. One is to have you and others, including me, learn more about you, and we will take time in class to have any student who desires to share their narrative with others. This is a good way to begin earning those all-important participation points. Second, I want to use this piece of writing, on a subject about which you are THE expert, to assess preliminarily your writing skills. As I noted on the first day, one of the course objectives is to improve one’s writing. I am really looking forward to learning more about you!

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My Story

The path to discovering oneself is not easy, but one that is very important to every person who hopes to lead a life or purpose. Developing the mind is a key component of self-discovery as it helps an individual know his capabilities and the surrounding better. In many cases people wonder what their purpose in life is and how they can make decisions that will shape the kind of life which fulfils this purpose. It is against this background that I will briefly try to present my story with regard to my intellectual development. Precisely, I will attempt to show who I am and the factors that shape this sense of identity. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that a basic knowledge and understanding of events of historic importance is of absolute necessity. This would explain my interest in Black World Studies. I find such an area to be full of content that causes one to reconsider his or her view of the world that we live in. It forces one to question racial stereotypes and commonly held beliefs about a group of people.

There are many people who have directly influenced my mental development as a result of interactions or increased study of materials concerning them. One of these people is Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Born in 1929 to a pastor and a school teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr King grew to be one of the most respected civil rights leaders in the United States of America ( He fought for equality between white Americans and African Americans through non-violent methods.

Dr. King’s determination against seemingly hard odds has always stirred both admiration and deep respect from me. As a result, I have been inspired to dig even deeper in my study about him and other like-minded thought leaders of his time. This has not only led to an extensively insightful understanding of certain events in our history, but it has also enabled me to realize the great amount of sacrifice required to move society in a particular direction. Ultimately, I believe the story of Dr Martin Luther King Jr has contributed to the depth of my mental development.

Being an active reader, there are many books that have inspired me but if there is one book that has greatly impacted my life then it has to be ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.’ This is a text that sharply portrays the real life of a black slave in antebellum America. The clear descriptions contained therein released a certain sense of anger at how a human being, overwhelmed by feelings of being superior, can treat another human being whom he considers to be lower in status. This text lays down the experiences of a young man right from boyhood up till adulthood when he finally finds himself free from the shackles of slavery.

The story of Frederick Douglass is the kind of story whose relevance lasts with age. This is of particular interest in normal America especially in view of the widespread concern about the treatment of African Americans by law enforcement officers. It is the kind of story that forces one to evaluate his or her perception of why people do the things they do. This narrative inspired me into trying to understand the motive(s) behind the actions of African Americans in agitating for equality rights. In a sense, it enabled me to drop my rather simplistic view of race relations in America and gradually guided me towards the path of Black World Studies.