The Bridge Poem

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On Tuesday, March 1st from 5:15-6:45pm, I attended an event called "Dinner With a Scholar" sponsored by the Honors College. At this event, we had dinner with Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott and discussed the topic of "Black Women's Leadership from the Plantation to the White House." Dr. Manuel-Scott is the director of Mason’s African and African American Studies program here at Mason. During this event, she challenged many of us to think critically about the various leadership roles that Black women have had in society.
We began the program by reading a poem called The Bridge Poem by Donna Kate Rushin (1981). This poem was about a Black woman and her perceived duty of being a “bridge.” This Black women has to be a bridge to her parents, to her school teachers, to society, and to herself. Her multiple roles in society and the amount of people that count on her create exhaustion and agitation. Why does she have to be the bridge that everyone must walk on in order to understand the rest of society? I volunteered a story about how I am a bridge. In my story, I told about how I was and still am a bridge between my parents. My parents divorced when I was ten years old. Ever since then, they have communicated through me. After reading the poem and reflecting, I realized that I had no time to think about or accept
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Manuel-Scott explaining her primary area of research. She researches the leadership roles of women of the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the United States. She described how difficult it was for her to locate a faculty member to sponsor her research. Dr. Manuel-Scott stressed the importance of attending a university where a professor will potentially share your interests. She reminisced about how her attendance at LSU was unsuccessful and why she decided to finish her Master’s degree at Howard University. HU is where she found a professor and mentor that could assist Dr. Manuel-Scott in her unique subject area of
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