The Shoe Fits: Oxford Diaries

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Timaira Hinton
November 19, 2023
CFC Oxford Graduate

I was astounded by the array of subjects students could choose to study at Oxford. From Italian cuisine, to the history of wine and dressmaking, it seemed like there was something for everyone. I even had my own field day when I saw that I could study the economics of crime (which ultimately fell through due to my school's unnecessary limitations). But as I started to look even deeper into the courses that Oxford students have taken in the past, I noticed that there were none that focused solely on any aspect of Black life. Now this is based on the list of subjects I've seen for the particular college I was in at Oxford, so I can't say that this is an issue for the entire university; however, I haven't heard of any other colleges offering such courses neither.

It'd be unfair for me to bash such an amazing university, and it'd also be dishonest for me to say that I expected anything different. It must be considered that the university didn't even have its first Black graduate until 1876, but there's evidence that the school existed in 1096. Could a school successfully incorporate Black life into the curriculum before it even has Black students in its population? I don't think so.

Today is different, though. We're living in a time where "race" and identity are heavy-hitter subjects. There hasn't been a point in time where they haven't been sensitive topics that could result in such extreme outcomes. Despite the risks, there has been a spike in the studies of certain ethnic groups that weren't in the forefront before the season of demand by my own community. It's difficult, as a person directly impacted by so many social shifts (more specifically, as a Black woman), to see immediate progress made for so many people and not my own. It is disheartening to look over an entire list of courses and not see one that is dedicated to a group of people that is instrumental to the development of every inch of land we stand on to this day.

This is why the presence of Black people on Oxford's campus/grounds is so significant. We must be there in some way. This is not a cry out in hopes of being welcomed with open arms to everything, nor is it a demand for all to be considered the exact same. We should bask in our differences and embrace each other, but we should all have equal ground. It would have been so great to learn about the Black community at Oxford. Although some things may not be as prominent of an issue in the UK as they are in the U.S., that doesn't lessen the need for them to be talked about and focused on.

I am truly blessed to say that I was a student at Oxford, and I hope that many others in my community are able to say the same in the near future. The only way to enrich education is to saturate it in all cultures, especially the ones it derived from/exists because of. It would be a great sight to see people of all ethnicities and backgrounds sharing their experiences with each other, and I will never lose faith in seeing that day come.

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Timaira Hinton

I am Timaira Mya Hinton, a lady of many passions and missions to fulfill. Defined by the carousel of my mind, I am embarking on the journey of life that is saturated with adventures, love, writing, violin, and (of course) the Sims.

2023 Fall
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