Kyshon Wilson

My story is like most Southerners of African descent. We were told about MLK and how good he was and about Malcolm X and how “racist” he was. We were educated on Crispus Attucks, the alleged first man to die in the American Revolution. Being from South Carolina, they sprinkled Mary McCloud Bethune when discussing educators such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. That was the gist of my academic knowledge of African American history from K-12. When I got to Newberry College, I was fortunate to have what I now know are “White allies:” Drs. Fritz, Shroerer, McDonald, and O’Shea were awesome in bringing many of us an introduction to the wealth of contributions from people of African descent. After graduating and branching to bigger cities, I began to observe and experience what I NOW know to be blatant and “aversive racism.” Growing up in a multicultural home, I was at a loss as to why a vast majority of non-African men and women outside my town of Newberry would be so cruel to another person based on their skin color. From that hunger and my diverse professors, it sparked an interest in studying, discussing, and educating others on the many many contributions to NOT attributed to people of color, including to but not limited to Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latino Americans. It is my hope by proactively beginning this type of MULTIcultural rehabilitation, which is needed for Diversity Valuing and Inclusion in all aspects within our society.

© 2013 WNET. All rights reserved.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Inkwell Films, in assocation with Ark Media.