Reading 3 The Freedom Writers Diary

I have a dream that one day ... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

(Diary 1)
Every day before I leave, my mom prays that I come home safely. On the way home, I get chased mostly by older fools with bats and knives. I try going different ways, but they always notice me and chase me anyway. At first I didn’t know the reason why they always hunt me down, but then I understood it; it was simply because I was from a different race. (Fall 1994)

(Diary 2)
A couple of days ago one of my friends was laid to rest. He should still be here having fun and enjoying life with the rest of us. He’s not the first nor the last friend that I’ll lose. I’ve lost many friends, friends who have died in an undeclared war. A war between colors and races. (Fall 1994)

(Diary 3)
At first I asked Ms. G, “Why should I read books about people that don’t look like me? People that I don’t even know and that I am not going to understand because they don’t understand me!” She looked up and said very calmly, “How can you say that? You haven’t even bothered to open the front cover. Try it, you never know. The book may come to life before your eyes.” So I started to read this book called Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl because I wanted to prove Ms. G wrong.
To my surprise, I proved myself wrong because the book indeed came to life. At the end of the book, I was so mad that Anne died; because as she was dying, a part of me was dying with her. I cried when she cried, and just like her I wanted to know why the Germans were killing her people. Just like her, I knew the feeling of discrimination and to be looked down on based on the way you look. (Fall 1995)

(Diary 4)
We have been reading about a young girl named Zlata, who many call the modern-day Anne Frank. Zlata and I seem to have a lot in common because while Zlata was living through a war in Sarajevo, I was living through a different kind of war-the Los Angeles Riot. Zlata and I were both eleven years old when our cities were under siege. I can understand how afraid and scared she was to see her city go up in flames, because my city was on fire, too.
Zlata and I both had to hide for our safety. This made us very frightened. Zlata was trapped in her basement while she heard bombs going off and people screaming. I was trapped inside my church while people were shooting, breaking windows, and screaming for their lives.
Zlata and I lost our childhood innocence because we were denied the right to do childlike things, like going to school, talking on the phone, and just playing outside. The buildings were burning and people got beaten up just because of the color of their skin, their religion, or their ethnicity.
I can’t believe that someone I don’t even know, who lives thousands of miles away, could have so much in common with me. (Fall 1995)

(Diary 5)
She spoke about all of the injustices that one must go through for a simple label or belief. She mentioned her experience as a fourteen-year-old girl in war-torn Bosnia. How hard it was for her to lose friends because of the way they looked, or what they believed in. At this point, we were the ones nodding our heads.
There is one thing that really stands out in my mind from that night, however. As she was answering questions, a couple of adults asked her what ethnicity she was, Croatian? Muslim? Serbian? I was upset that instead of getting the message that she was trying to convey, they were still concerned with what ethnicity she was. Zlata looked around, stared at us, and simply said, “I’m a human being.”
That’s exactly what we all are. We spend so much time trying to find out what race people are when we should get to know them as individuals. I felt like answering their questions with a question. Does it matter? Will it make a difference if she is Croatian, Muslim, or Serbian?
She taught me the most valuable lesson that anybody could ever have and it’s amazing that she is only fifteen! Ever since that day I’ve tried not to accept society’s labels, and to fight against them. (Spring 1996)

(Diary 6)
I’d like to say this has been the best night of my life! As the bus stopped at the Lincoln Memorial, I felt like I was a part of history. It was raining, but we still wanted to see the statue of Abraham Lincoln. It had always been my dream to see the world-famous statue.
At first I didn’t understand why Ms. G wanted us to go to Washington so much. But now that we were in our nation’s capital, it hit me! I will never be the same! I finally realized what being a Freedom Writer really means. Everyone was standing around the monument reading the passages on the wall. We all wanted to know what each passage meant, when it was written, and who wrote it.
After that I heard a small voice excitedly scream, “It’s time to go back outside in the rain.” I knew Ms. G was up to something. We went outside and stood on the stairs of the monument and held hands facing the city, facing the world.
It’s amazing that Dr. Martin Luther King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech here, where he dreamed that someday “little black children and little white children ... will come together.” When I looked at the Freedom Writers holding hands in the rain, I realized that his dream had come true. Then suddenly, one, two, three, we screamed “Freedom Writers have a dream!” The rain stopped and the sound of our voices echoed across the city! (Spring 1997)




Reading 3 フリーダム・ライターズの日記


(Diary 1)
毎朝ぼくが出かける前,母さんはぼくが無事に帰って来るようにと祈る。家へ帰る途中,ぼくはたいていバットやナイフを持った年上のばかな連中に追いかけられる。試しに違う道を行ってみたけど,やつらはいつもぼくに気づいて,とにかく追いかけてくる。最初,やつらがいつもぼくを追い詰める理由がわからなかったけど,そのあとわかった。それは単にぼくが違う人種の出だったからだ。 (1994年秋)

(Diary 2)
2日前,友だちの1人が埋葬された。彼はまだ,ほかのみんなと面白いことをしたり,人生を楽しんだりして,この世にいるべきなんだ。彼は俺が亡くす初めての友だちでも最後の友だちでもない。俺は多くの友だちを亡くした。宣戦布告なき戦争で死んだ友だちだ。それは肌の色や民族の違いで争う戦争だ。 (1994年秋)

(Diary 3)
驚いたことに,その本は本当に生き生きしてきて,私は自分が間違っていると証明してしまった。本の最後で,アンネが死んだことに私は頭にきた。彼女が死にそうなとき,私の一部もいっしょに死んじゃいそうだったから。彼女が泣くと私も泣いて,彼女とまったく同じように,どうしてドイツ人は彼女の国の人を殺していたのか知りたくなった。彼女とまったく同じように,差別感や,見た目で見下される気持ちが私にもわかっていた。 (1995年秋)

(Diary 4)
ぼくのまったく知らない人が,何千マイルも離れて住んでいる人が,ぼくとこんなにもたくさん共通点を持っていることがあるなんて信じられない。 (1995年秋)

(Diary 5)
彼女は私に,これまでだれかが学ぶことができた中で,最も価値のある教訓を教えてくれた。それに彼女がたった15歳だなんて驚きだ!その日以来ずっと,私は社会の貼りつけたレッテルを受け入れず,それらと戦おうとしている。 (1996年春)

(Diary 6)
ここでマーチン・ルーサー・キング牧師が有名な「私には夢がある」の演説を行ったのは驚くべきことだ―彼がいつの日か「黒人の小さな子どもたちと白人の小さな子どもたちが…身を寄せ合う」ことを夢見たこの場所で。フリーダム・ライターズのみんなが雨の中で手をにぎり合っているのを見たとき,私は彼の夢が実現したのだと気づいた。それから突然,私たちは1,2の3で叫んだ―「フリーダム・ライターズには夢がある!」雨はやみ,私たちの声は街中に響きわたった! (1997年春)