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Tawa Scholarship Essay

When K. C. Boyd was a librarian at Chicago’s Copernicus Elementary School in 1999, she noticed an absence of books that appealed to her students. As she continued to teach throughout the district, she observed that kids were not interested in “traditional literature.” Then she discovered urban fiction, a genre that told stories with which students could identify.

“These are stories that are about inner-city life and urban life, and the kids could really relate,” says Boyd, now library media specialist and director of social media at Wendell Phillips Academy High School, where she has worked since 2010.

When Boyd began advocating for the urban fiction genre, she was sometimes misunderstood. Many people, for instance, want students to read only the classics. While those books should be read, she says, educators need to also capture the attention of kids. She points out that many classics are also considered street literature, such as Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.

With Boyd’s help, Wendell Phillips’s reading culture has changed drastically. Students’ favorite authors include Ashley and JaQuavis, Wahida Clark, John Green, K’wan, Paul Langan, Stephenie Meyer, Ni-Ni ­Simone, and Sister Souljah.

“The library has turned into a place where kids can meet, feel respected, and feel safe to express their opinions and ideas. And they’re able to try out things that are new with technology,” she says. “The library has truly become the heart of the school.”

Ankomah 1Albertina AnkomahProf. TawaEnglish 20109 January 2017Criticism of MoanaDisney’s new movie Moana is a unique princess movie which serves to diversify Disney princesses by presenting a new culture. Before the release of the movie, it faced many complaints of cultural appropriation, fat shaming, and harm to the countries’ whose culture is being portrayed in the movie. Some of these criticism are unwarranted but the others’ are legitimate concerns.The accusations of Disney’s appropriation a culture for monetary benefits is warranted and necessary to spark the conversation of colonization’s effects on islanders. In an article by Agnes Constante called “Critics Accuse Disney of 'Culture Theft' Ahead of 'Moana' Release,” one point that was made by Vince Diaz was that the narrative is that the pacific is made to entertain. This is problematic. The idea that the Pacific Islands are tourist destinations encouraged colonization which had detrimental effects on natives. High incarceration rates and poverty caused by an influx of foreigners is not discussed in the movie, instead Disney chooses to be a part of the problem. Like the many foreigners who have made the Pacific their home, theybelieve people of the pacific are servants. Whether they serve as entertainment on a movie theater screen or as janitors in a hotel resort, the effects are dehumanizing.

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