Kateri Garcia

Help each other out of the well

The moment that a minority person rises to the top of the well, the people at the top let go of the rope and call us underqualified, too conservative or too liberal. What they really mean is we are not white enough. And sometimes, to those in our own communities, we are not Hispanic enough, or black enough. Why do we keep holding ourselves down at the bottom of the well instead of helping each other to climb out? Look around you. The faces at the bottom of the well are no different from you or me or anyone else in this room. Ask yourselves how you beat the odds and made it to and through MIT. And when you leave this place, will you return to the communities that you left behind? Like Dr. King, will we face the challenge and return to the South, or will we forget that we, too, were once faces at the bottom of the well?

Kateri Garcia
Senior in mechanical engineeering

Don't let dreams dwindle

Dr. King had the audacity to believe that people everywhere should have three meals a day for their body, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. Unfortunately, he was assassinated before he could see his dream realized. As such, his tombstone reads 'Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I am free at last.' Thus I implore you, let not Dr. King's dreams of significance dwindle to a mere symbol to add to all the uncashed checks handed down to those that suffer. Let not another face at the bottom of the well have to drown in their own despair before they can finally say that they're free at last. Let us prove that you can assassinate the messenger but you cannot assassinate the dream.

Ayanna Samuels
Graduate student in aero/astro

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 26, 2003.

Topics: Humanities, National relations and service, Special events and guest speakers

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