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Race? Class?? Culture???

I chose to study Liberal Studies with a concentration of Race, Class, and Culture (RCC)
there were two major events that prompted me to pick RCC; my first job and my high school
experience. Little did I know but these two institutions would incite me to become intrigued with
the study of RCC. Working my first job at the Greensboro coliseum I became fascinated with the
racial aspects of the work world. I also came from a predominately African American high
school where there was a lack of racial, cultural and social diversity. These situations helped me
develop several questions that would result in the shaping of my perspective on race, class and
culture in America. Obtaining a degree in RCC has no relevance to my desired profession but
some of the teachings can be use to enhance my career.
I knew racism existed however I had never really experienced it throughout life
excluding the clich of "driving while black", until I worked at the coliseum. Growing up my
mother always told me I would have to work 10 times harder than whites. Prior to working at the
Greensboro coliseum I was under the impression she meant only in my academic performance, I
was sadly mistaken. While I would never accuse the coliseum of racism, there was clearly a
hierarchy of sort amongst the employees and supervisors not based on position nor tenure. Duties
were not distributed amongst employees based on capability or merit but more or less by
favoritism to a certain racial group, coincidently most of my departments supervisors favorite
employees belonged to the same racial group as him. Not only were the duties delegated in an
unfair manner but employee promotion was also awarded off of the "good ol' boy" system,
prestige taking a back seat to the unwritten hierarchy of the coliseum. Race continued to be an
undertone whenever work related issues or decisions needed to be made. I along with other
African Americans were stuck with the grunt work while our Caucasian counterparts worked on
the more lax duties of event prep. My experiences while working at the coliseum was one of the
first reasons RCC interested me.
Going to a predominately African American high school I experienced little to no
interaction; interracial, social or cultural. I could literally count the number of none minority
students on my hand, and unfortunately the few that did attend Dudley did not interact with a
vast majority of the population. Along with the lack of Caucasian students there was also no
variance in the social classes that I could intermingle with. Most students that attended Dudley
were from middle class/working poor homes. Growing up with one of Dudleys few Caucasian
students helped me understand that although our skin color was not the same our upbringing was
essentially the same. Consequently since all of Dudley white students grew up within African
Americans community over the years they all had developed some type of "black" bravado. This
assimilation of cultures further narrowed the hope of having any non-minority interactions, by
seamlessly blending the two racial groups. With the blurred culture lines of the two races there
was a very fine line between the differences of our African American students vs our Caucasians
student population.
My decision to major in RCC was based on my experiences throughout life. RCC has no
direct correlation to my desired occupation, however I can use it in my anticipated career field. A
degree in RCC could help me bridge different social and culture barriers when looking to recruit
new players. When recruiting players understanding different cultural backgrounds can come in
handy, it can help me weigh a players marketability which can help narrow the field of selection
for potential teams and advertisement firms. Studying culture and class may also help me guide
players down the path to financial success, by helping them with different investment ventures,
instituting foundations for their community. Studying culture and class can also help me
understand certain stigmas that plague players, for example why do players from lower social
classes feel the need to support a lot of people opposed to the upper/middle class counterparts.
RCC can also help me with different racial relationships. Being a sports agent is all about
cultivating relationships not only with players but with coaches, GMs, other agents, marketing
firms etc. which means interaction amongst different racial groups.
The two previously stated events played as major factors in my choice of the major
concentration of Race, Class, and Culture. My experiences in high school made me want to learn
more about other races especially Caucasians, hoping I could gain understanding of the "other
side". I had questions on the difference between culture and social class because they seemed to
be conjoining factors, throughout my high school matriculation I grew to understand that if two
people shared the same social class their cultures seemed to lack variance no matter their race.
Another question that puzzled me was how come even though from the class as my white
classmates somehow there was still a huge difference on how America viewed us. Working at
the coliseum further enthused me to pursue an RCC degree. The coliseum employee hierarchy
made me question certain beliefs I had for the workplace. I became interested on the actual
definition of race, and what made me African American or Black opposed to what made
Caucasians or White. I wanted to know what my blackness means to America instead of what
my blackness is in America, or if there is a difference. Although RCC has nothing to do with my
desired career path as a sports agent I can use some of the skills from the degree. If not for the
relationships I had in high school I would have not been interested in RCC. To go along with my
high school experience. The different environments shaped me, my thoughts, and ambitions.
There were several things that pushed me toward the RCC field but none could be greater than
simply growing up as an African American in an American world.

Larren Bennett
Libs 200
Professor Watson