The luxury of forgetting
My family ethnically is from Ghana in West Africa so that's a huge part of my identity and something that my family still manages to keep very relevant in our lives daily. Oh, yeah, it's a major part of my identity because I don't have the luxury of being able to just get up in the morning and not think about my race. I think about all aspects of my life where, like, if I'm driving to school in the morning, is my music too loud in the car? I don't want to give cops a reason to pull me over. In classrooms does anyone ever second guess my intelligence because of my race? And so I always feel like I need to not necessarily prove myself and make sure I always put my best foot forward in everything that I do, because I don't want these negative stereotypes that people have towards Black people to be validated in how I act and just like a one off circumstance, so it's very integral to my identity because I don't get to forget that I'm Black at any point in time during the day or my life. So it was very integral part of me.
When I was younger, my dad let me know very first day of kindergarten that I am Black, and that's something that people are going to see and it's not something that I get to just forget about. So it’s something that’s always been on the forefront of my mind. And then there's been situations throughout school where I would be bullied because of my race or there would be scandals people saying the N-word, that shouldn't be saying it and that was like a very huge thing, and then it would die down for a bit until the next bigger scandal happened. And then of course with the 2016 elections, race is a huge topic of discussion.
But on a smaller scale I haven't, at least personally, at least acknowledged a lot of things because I kind of put all things on the back burner because I know people are going to be racist at the end of the day. Not even straight up racist but have stereotypes and prejudice against me because I am Black, and especially being in Mendoza and being an accounting major. There are very, very, very few of us. I think also being a woman on top of that makes it a lot harder. So I've had like in some of my accounting classes, like in these group projects, people never listen to me when I feel very confident this is correct answer and then they ignore me and they realize that I had the correct answer. So there's like these little tidbits here and there that I remember.
Thaddea Ampadu is a senior studying Accounting at the University of Notre Dame. Ampadu was raised in Columbus, Ohio.