BY: NENE KEITA
As protestors march across the country demanding racial justice, BCC students and alumni, along with other MCPS schools, have taken to social media to share their experience of being black at their schools. Through a series of Instagram posts, the Black at BCC brings together stories of former and current black students to showcase the racism and discrimination that takes place in BCC. Scrolling through the account, you can read stories of students being told: go back to Africa, of non-black students asking for the “N-word pass” and of black students facing daily microaggression from both their peers and faculty. In one testimony, a student describes how being the only black girl on a sports team. She was referred to as the “slave” of the team. Another read of a student being told by her counselor that “Honor classes are not for your type of people, you should stay in on level.”
Black at BCC has given black students a safe and anonymous platform to share their stories. A platform where they don’t have to fear backlash, a way for those who are marginalized to be front and center.
Black at BCC and social media, in general, has been a tool that has aided in spreading awareness and progressing the movement. However, it is not that alone that will bring the change that is much needed. Anti-racism isn’t about being quiet and comfortable. We need to challenge ourselves, our behaviors, and the behavior of those we see around us. We have a responsibility to stand up and speak up when we see something wrong. As a white person, you have to unlearn your racism. You have to dedicate yourself to acknowledging your white privilege, which can sometimes be hard for some, but it is not impossible. It is important to educate yourself, for change to happen. Join clubs such as the Minority Scholars Program, Asian Student Union, and Youth For Equity. In this digital age, there is no excuse for ignorance. Speak up and be better.
BCC needs to have conversations that include everyone, even though BCC had a community circle series that the majority of people who attended were those who were actively practicing anti-racism, not the students who need to have those conversations to educate themselves. The administration must also try to implement a diverse curriculum, where all students can feel represented in their education.