Wilfred Doucet III
He of the ‘dreads’ and the great smile—has a message of value for all of us. “The greatest struggle I’ve had in my life was, basically, never to give up. I’m from a working-class family, so I had to pay my own way through school,” he says. “I started out with financial aid and scholarships, but when I needed money for my family—five daughters!—I’d go back to work. It was,” he says with a chuckle, “somewhat of a roundabout approach to academia.”
Perseverance is Wilfred’s object lesson to us all. And finally, with his MA and arrival at SMC, he feels that all the struggle was well worth it. “I’ve got family and friends patting me on the back and saying I deserve it. And I’m so excited to be teaching at this great college. I think I’m going to be of real value here in giving African American students a sense of their own power as intellectuals, cultured workers, and citizens of their college and of the world,” he says. “And when inner city kids arrive here, I hope that my presence will motivate them and put them at ease, because we share a lot of common experiences.”
In survey and composition classes, Wilfred plans to explore those ‘common experiences’ to the fullest.
“We’ll be reading a lot of the giants like Douglas, Dubois, Washington, and the Harlem Renaissance writers,” he says. “And all of this will relate to the African world view and show how this is expressed in global African cultures; among them, the most curious of them all is the African American experience.”