How old were you when first awakened to the harsh reality of racism?
Around the age of 8
What would you like to see your community to do to help on the topic of racism?
Be open about the conversation. Stand up for the right reasons and not hold anything back when in a racist situation. Don’t follow the lead of those who make uncomfortable jokes and claims about racism. Do the right thing and don’t side with them just to fit in.
Make all POC feel like they belong and not make them feel like outsiders.
What exactly does the Black Lives Matter Movement mean to you?
When I hear about the Black Lives Matter Movement, it makes me feel like we haven’t failed ourselves. Although the country's systems have failed to protect, love, and accept us, we haven’t failed to continue what previous Black generations have fought for. Therefore Black Lives Matter Movement means the continuance to fight for racial equality is not over.
How is life different for you as a person of color?
Life is different in the worst possible way when you are a person of color. You can literally do anything that a non-poc does but still be overlooked and misjudged due to the color of your skin. It feels almost like being a villain in every movie or TV show… except the color of your skin is the only reason that the superheroes fight you.
Why do you think that racism is an uncomfortable topic for some people?
I personally can’t speak for everyone but I can definitely assume that the topic of racism can be uncomfortable to discuss because it’s such a huge problem and some people just don’t want to say the wrong thing. As for others, they may simply believe that “they’re not racist,” so speaking about it makes them feel like they’re being called out as a “racist.”
When you experience racism whether it is slurs, microaggressions, discrimination, treated differently… is it more by your peers or adults like teachers, coach and admin?
I’ve dealt with racist experiences with teachers, peers, and even strangers. Also with different age groups and genders.
How does racism affect your education/ ability to work on a daily basis ?
Since I’ve experienced it at such a young age, I feel numb to the pain. It doesn’t distract me but it has definitely had a negative effect on how I see the world around me. I function the same way on a daily basis and continue to perform the same activities. It’s all just a matter of ignoring the stares, side talks, discrimination, stereotypes, etc. and just focusing on yourself.
How has racism affected your family over time ?
It’s definitely safe to say that it has brought my family closer because of the conversations we have about the BLM Movement, protests, and the violence portrayed on the news outlets.
How do you feel about having to educate your non black friends constantly ? Should school and the education system do more to make kids more aware of the harm of their actions and words.
I honestly don’t educate my non-black friends all that much because luckily I’ve made friends with respectful and educated manners. Ones who know their limits, as well as having the conversations within their families so they know not to overstep boundaries of any sort and show respect on behalf of their black friends including myself.
I definitely feel that the education system should definitely do more to make kids more aware of the harm of their actions and words. But also educate the parents if possible because children pick up whatever their parents put down.