Being black in America has always been something that was never easy. With the election of Donald Trump, a man whose campaign targeted minorities as well as praised xenophobia, racism and sexism have resurrected many spirits from the Jim Crow era of America.
With many of his executive orders in the first two weeks has administration targeting immigrants and minorities, many have asked if we are going back in time? Recently, I asked a few fellow Xavierites how they feel about being black in America.
Jasmine Jones, Freshman
“I love being black. It’s exhausting but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I love my people but not a lot of people love us. The hashtags are draining, but they are also a reminder that they don’t love us and never cared about us. Black excellence has been a thing and will continue! I know that we’re all destined for greatness.”
Najee Booker, Freshman
“I feel like I have a lot of pressure stacked against me. I feel like I’m born into a society where I have 2 strikes for being African American. Each time I step out of my comfort zones, I’m monitored and must act different. But I also feel a strength, one of generations where I know I’m living in empowerment. As society continues to throw obstacles at me, I overcome and add more to the story of being black in America. I feel a sense of pride knowing that I’m continuing my legacy while disproving all of the negativity that surrounds me.”
Mya Jacobs, Freshman
“It’s very sad to be black in America [right now] because we just watched a man with no credentials, no decency, and no respect for quality of life get elected to the most powerful position in this country by people who hate us as black Americans. I’m not saying that I believed racism was dead, but damn, I thought human decency was enough to prevail over this type of hate. This is like finding out that there is more evil than good in this world, and that’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever experienced in this life.”
Khalil Bobb, Freshman
“You think you’re normal as you grow up, but you slowly notice that you are different from the rest. First it’s bliss until the first instance comes up where you aren’t picked because of something inexplicable. First example that I first blamed myself for was I tested to get into a prestigious school here, got a 99 on the test. They didn’t accept me because “my score wasn’t high enough” so I really thought it was my fault. Later on, my mom let me know that my score was a 99 and that I only missed one question but I still wasn’t picked. As well, it also sucks in the treatment you receive, but personally as I get better, it’s empowering. No matter what happens, I wasn’t suppose to make it this far. I’m barely suppose to live past 23, but I’m in school and I’m still here.”
With these different answers, it’s easy to say that being black in America, especially now is hard, but throughout the history of of our people, we have always came back up higher than ever.