Can We Write Our Own Stories?

The case involving Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman was horrendous. However, that was just a case that displayed how the teenage community as a unit is unpopular to today’s society. As we all know, Trayvon was labeled as suspicious simply because of what he was wearing: a black hoodie. Since when did a hoodie become a sign of a dangerous person? Did the government make that decision? If so, why didn’t the citizens receive that memo?

An article entitled “Superman and Me” written by Sherman Alexie, a Native American. In this article, Alexie wrote about how he became the successful writer that he is today. Alexie wrote, “I refused to fail. I was smart. I was arrogant. I was lucky” (Alexie 2). Alexie is talking about how he did not want to be like the rest of the children on his reservation by succumbing to the precedent of failure that was set by the many generations that came before him. Although this quote was directed to the Native American community, it applies to the general youth community as well.

The adolescent community has not been given the upper hand at all. Many of our readings discussed how the teenagers of today are not expected to become successful. Our readings from our “Generational” unit basically told us to be ready to work a minimum wage job that does not require a degree, even though we all are about to be working our butts off for the next 4+ years at one of the most prestigious universities in the country to get one. Furthermore, depending on where you are from, the males are expected to end up dead or in jail and the females are expected to be teen moms. MTV made an entire television series about being a teenage mother. If the message of the show was supposed to be “Don’t be a teen mom, you’ll struggle ”, they definitely failed at portraying that message because the mothers on the show are getting huge checks every time they have a cameo in an episode. You can’t tell me that I am going to struggle when the people you are using as examples are getting paid massive checks. It just doesn’t work that way.

That being said, Alexie, although he was speaking from personal experience, understood what it was like to be a member of an unpopular community. Being a Native American, he was already unpopular in today’s society. In addition to being a Native American, he was also one of the only Native Americans on his reservation that was trying to save himself from the precedent that was set by those before him which was complete failure. Today’s adolescent community is in the same boat as Alexie. We are all trying to save ourselves and write our own stories. But the question at hand is do we have the strength to write our own stories?

– Nya M.


Writing About Family_Quote



4 thoughts on “Can We Write Our Own Stories?

  1. Great opening! The rhetorical questions grabbed my attention instantly. The use of them allowed you to engage your audience and it brought about emotions. So, great use of pathos! Well done towards referencing one of the articles we read in class. I always have trouble when it comes to citation in my essays. You have helped me get a better understanding on how to reference, thank you. Your last sentence was outstanding. It left me thinking just as “Superman and Me’ had. Job well done! The only thing that through me off was the first sentence in the second paragraph when you referred to Alexie’s article. It just seemed a little odd to me.

  2. I liked how instead of really focusing on race you focused on the youth community. The questions you stated in the first paragraph were very interesting, something I would of never thought of. Also, I like how you related the case of Trayvon Martin to Alexie. Great connection with the youth community! This ties in perfectly with our theme of generation. Good job on your blog!

  3. Your focus and the questions you “answered” conveyed your opinion in a very incited up way. I found it easy to understand you position and your thoughts on the topic which made it easier to understand the position entirely.

  4. In my opinion the way you opened up your blog was a little different from normal. I like that you didn’t focus on the race perspective like most others tend to point out. I also liked the way you closed the blog. I believe that many of us tend to have the strength to write our own stories but we our held back in many numerous ways whether it be self doubt or not being in a positive nurturing environment. I’ve even felt that way at times.

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