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  • Writer's pictureRenée Purdie

Cultural cross-pollination

By Denise Renée Purdie


Being a bibliophile, I want to go to the library of Alexandria!!! I wish I could have seen the original before it was burned. I cringe at the knowledge that was lost during that fire and with the burning of books in Germany during the Nazi regime and in other countries as well. Of course there is a lot of censorship going on in America at the moment, particularly of what really happened in history.   


People are shortsighted to believe that by censoring books and taking it out of the curriculum, the truth will not be known, but it is particularly alarming because the people who really need to know will have less chance of finding out. Africans are largely from an oral tradition, but how are people who are indoctrinated with hate supposed to find out what’s really true?


I had a discussion with an instructor at my school who teaches history and I strongly recommended that he should immediately read The New Jim Crow. I believe he immediately ordered it and read it. He was the type of person / scholar who could assimilate a new viewpoint, even if it didn’t match his worldview. Most people are not like that.


One reason why I feel like racism has diminished slightly from 100 years ago is the fact that we are mixing more with people who are dissimilar to us. It is really only by interacting with other humans who are different from us that we figure out we are very much the same in a lot of respects. Of course there are differences because of cultures, heredity, upbringing and a myriad of other factors, but the basics are often the same.   


  • We need shelter, food and all the other basics on Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs.


  • Humans tend to want love and want to love.


  • Most humans want to reproduce or at least leave a legacy of some sort.   


It has been my absolute pleasure to get to know a lot of different people around the world. I know an Egyptian, many Australians, people from several different African countries and of course people here in the United States. I believe getting to mesh and interact is the true way to understand people, break down stereotypes and truly connect to create what I call cultural cross-pollination. And who knows what beautiful new ideas, experiences and inventions these combinations will create!


Keywords: culture, diversity, censorship, racism reduction

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Ella Jewel
May 12, 2023
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Kudos on this multi layered and well written piece! I too love libraries, and one small confession, when I travel I make it a point to visit the location’s library if at all possible. I can go on an on about libraries, but I’ll add it’s the essence of a community via its’ resources and gathering place for a community. It’s also and a storehouse of different types of information cultural, historical etc. Libraries serve the needs of its’ patrons- and I too feel the same way about the lost libraries whether in Egypt, or that of Timbuktu. This would have been my DREAM library, as then, Mail was the Mecca of education, and the richest empire in the world!…


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Renée Purdie
Renée Purdie
May 16, 2023
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Thank you so much my beautiful sister for this eloquent reply. I did not know that about you being a library professional. My Mom worked in school libraries during her working life and she is largely responsible for my love of books and learning. One of the things I would like to do is create worldwide entrepreneurial charter schools but one of my biggest dreams is to create a library and dedicate it in my Mom’s honor. I would love to see her name in gold as yellow was her favorite color. 💛💛💛

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