I teach to reclaim education by any righteous means necessary. I teach because in me grew the desire to teach my people. My people, meaning Black and Brown people, people from marginalized areas like me, people from the community in community who seek healing, just as I do and who also seek LOVE. I teach because a face like mine lacks representation. So I have found it my duty to serve as a source of pure representation for students of color. Particularly Black students with heart and soul.
I enjoy my profession. I acknowledge the truths I find in this system (a system not constructed for Black people and people of color, etc.) through those I serve. I teach because it allows me to grow. I have learned I am able to reclaim education by challenging the system—it’s not easy, but it's a beautiful struggle because it's being done. I teach to disrupt hopelessness.
A teacher for three years, Ericka Duke teaches in Richmond, CA.