In my three high school years so far I am now starting to truly realize who I am and have that inner light finally shine. I’ve noticed that this happens to everyone at some point in our lives especially in high school, we go through some mental, emotional, and physical changes throughout our time in high school but now that I’m a senior I really get to look back and see how much my light has grown and shines brighter.
The thing is that my light is unique like a lot of people at Berkeley High. It is a darker light with an ebony tint that tends to have a really hard time shining through in our society. Why is that?
Throughout my life so far I have faced many stereotypes, inequalities, and discrimination on a day-to-day basis in our society, from being made fun of for having big lips and having long arms like a monkey, to being insulted with the infamous watermelon, fried chicken and Kool-Aid generalizations and jokes.
Some inequalities I’ve faced are walking into a store and being followed by security guards and being asked if I had money to pay for a certain item at CVS or even just recently when I was confronted by a police officer and was threatened to be arrested, and have the whole Oakland Police Department detain me for selling t-shirts that I created at Rockridge bart station. He then told me I had no right to be at Rockridge bart, “his block,” “hip hopping around” selling t-shirts.
My column will be discussing these topics of being black in Berkeley, California, and how prejudice treatment in the present day is still very much alive.
There’s one really key thing though that I will be discussing today and that is the education of the black community, the education that a lot of black people don’t have the opportunity to obtain. When I say education I don’t mean the academics that we need, I’m talking about our history, our literature, our economics, our culture.
They say, “the best way to kill a black man, is to destroy his history.” From the jump, this has been a saying from the time that Africans were brought over here, people look at black people and ask, “why is he so ignorant.”
Well first off, that’s a purely ignorant statement. To start off, black people are totally different from white people, there are certain socio-economic values that have been passed down for generation throughout our history.
In these columns I will be giving my opinion on racial issues within the black community that keep black people oppressed and at the bottom. So I end with a question, Why do we continue to accept the stereotypes and the injustices that are in our society and our lives? Are you going to continue to allow the stereotypes, injustices, and discrimination to exist.