Diversity coming from Tia Monet Cofer and what it means to her. Graduated from Stroudsburg South High School
Written by Tia-Monet Cofer
Diversity is very important to me as a person of color. I love to be surrounded by different types of people from every nook and cranny of the world. Being around diverse cultures can not only teach you but help you appreciate your own culture and how much your own culture may bring to the table. More diversity equates to the everlasting understanding of others. Bringing together our differences in order to use them for good. Surrounding myself in a diverse environment keeps me on my toes while allowing me to bask in several different cultures at once.
Moving from the well-diverse big apple to a small town in Pennsylvania, I was unaware of the culture shocks I would experience in my first years of living here. In high school, I attended East Stroudsburg High School South. The ratio of black kids in each class would be 3:25 and the feeling of being different from the other non-melanated kids always remained prevalent. Being one of the three black kids, I can assure you my melanated peers and I dreaded when the topic of slavery came up each year. The teachers & students seemed to always look at us for answers about slavery as if we had just been freed. It also didn’t help that every textbook in regards to slavery & the oppression on my people from the beginning of the United States were severely fabricated in what really went on. Most of my white peers strongly believed that George Washington really had wooden teeth. When in all reality, his teeth were taken out of the mouths of his slaves. I think the most significant thing I would have wanted from school, would be recognition of what really happened to my people. Not just a flimsy decorated hall during Black History Month. The acknowledgment of how bad it really was back then.
East Stroudsburg South definitely had its share of diversity outside of the classroom, but inside the classroom always reminded you that you were a minority. I definitely wouldn’t trade that high school for the world- as I’ve met friends and remained friends with people from all over the US and world.