Please enjoy the written pieces about Black Lives by Jhari Williams, Courtney Chrichlow, Shyenne Walston, Jasmyn Millsap and Tovia Tisby.
It’’s not every day I look in the mirror and smile.
I pinch my sides and close my eyes.
It’s not every day I watch tv and laugh.
No one looks like me and It’s getting harder to see through all the Chaff
They told it’s the way I look and the way I see
Trying to convince that the real problem is me.
I so I walk and run dive and hide take cover in the snow
It’s sad because the real me is someone they will know
Is that normal, is it sad.
To hate the pity that makes me mad.
But years have past and I have grown
It’s not every day you can do that on your own
Written By Jhari Williams
It is important to learn about police brutality and the tragic death of George Floyd. Police brutality has been going on for decades. Still to this day black people are fighting for the right to be treated equally. And most recently George Floyd, an unarmed black man was killed unfairly by a white police officer.
On May 25 2020, George Floyd was killed by a white police officer named Derek Chauvin. George Floyd was arrested for supposedly using a fake twenty dollar bill. During his arrest, Derek Chauvin pushed his knee on George Floyd's neck for several minutes. While the police officer applied unnecessary force on George Floyd’s neck, he pleaded “I can’t breathe!” During these tragic minutes people were recording on their phones while the other police officers told people to stop recording or just watched George Floyd get murdered.
Ever since George Floyd’s death people have been protesting for the “I can't breathe” movement. Many people go to peaceful protests and have signs saying how Black Lives Matter.
While walking, the protestors chant “I can't breathe”. It's a very sentimental moment.
But even with the protesting and people fighting for their rights, there’s still a problem. When people protest, police tend to spray tear gas on them. Police also will arrest them for protesting.
In conclusion, this is why it's important to be educated on police brutality and the tragic death of George Floyd. Things in our country are happening now and us young people are the future. We have the power to change the world!
Written By Courtney Chrichlow
The recently passed $2 trillion stimulus package includes a suite of measures designed to support households being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. However, policymakers may want to consider what protections it offers to a particularly high-risk group: people experiencing homelessness. Will the $4 billion for emergency homeless services and the $1,200 stimulus checks that the bill provides to support this population adequately address sheltering and service needs? Or perhaps more importantly, it might be worth examining whether, without additional support, both people experiencing homelessness and the broader general population would continue to face risks associated with COVID-19.
Examining the COVID-19 outbreak from a disaster research perspective helps illuminate why people experiencing homelessness may need more support than what the stimulus package offers. Disaster research has developed an understanding of risk as more than an intrinsic property of a hazard. Risk is also socially constructed, the result of societal forces marginalizing certain segments of the population, and shaping exposure, vulnerability, and capacity. Exposure refers to the people or systems in a hazard zone. Vulnerability is the characteristics or circumstances that make people or systems susceptive to damage. And capacity is the strengths and resources that can be used to mitigate risk.
Although disaster impacts vary within different groups, people experiencing homelessness are often highly impacted by disasters due to their high levels of exposure and vulnerability and limited capacity.
People experiencing homelessness may have particularly high levels of exposure to COVID-19 due to issues related to sheltering and work. Being without a permanent home, “sheltering in place” is not an effective option for people experiencing homelessness. Living in places such as parks, shelters, homes of friends and family, and the streets can oftentimes be dense, high-contact areas, making it difficult to practice social distancing. Additionally, most people experiencing homelessness also do not have the luxury of being able to telecommute or work remotely. Instead, they work public-facing jobs that often require high levels of public engagement, such as day laboring, recycling, and panhandling.
People experiencing homelessness are also more likely to have greater vulnerability to the effects of COVID-19 mainly due to their higher than average levels of physical and behavioral health challenges. People experiencing homelessness are disproportionately likely to have chronic and acute physical health problems, including chronic lung disease, hypertension and diabetes, and nutrition-related health issues. They are also more likely to suffer from high rates of stress and other behavioral health problems. These preexisting behavioral and physical health conditions increase susceptibility to other health problems, such as those produced by the coronavirus.
Written By Shyenne Walston
Over 400 years ago a system of inequality was built. Our country was built on the backbones of slavery and segregation.Over the many decades things have changed but it was never permanent. Things have been compromised to fit into a bias lifestyle. Many people have been killed due to the hand of inequality and injustice. Many have not had the opportunities that life offers them just because their skin is different. Social inequality has overdued it’s stay through the decade but social equality is making it’s making appearance today.
Segregation and discrimination had a huge impact in the 1960’s. Black people were threatened, beaten, and murdered because they couldn't change their skin color they were born with. Many black men and women were unable to get their desired job if they had the same needed credentials as the opposing white person. Katherine Johnson was a mathematician and physicist for NASA. Johnson faced segregation and discrimination in her work space with her white employees by they didn’t think she had the desired education for the job. The Washington Post stated,” During the era of legal segregation, Southern and border state legislatures relegated African Americans to limited undergraduate educational opportunities at severely underfunded tax-supported black colleges.” This shows how whites overlooked Johnson because she was a different skin color.
Through this tough time even children faced social inequality and segregation. Many white children were not taught by their parents how to embrace another race. This caused problems like whites attending all white schools and blacks attending all black schools, even if one school was closer to the child’s home. Ruby Bridges experienced this type of hatred at such a young age. Ruby Bridges was treated with so much hatred that she had to be escorted by U.S Marshalls on her first day at the white elementary school. Biography.com states,” Bridges would be the only African American student to attend the William Frantz school, near her home, and the first black child to attend an all- white elementary school in the south.” This explains even though the all black school was miles away from Bridge’s home, whites didn’t want her to attend her school due to the fact that they felt superior.
Written By Jasmyn Millsap
``Slavery is any system in which principles of law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. ``[Wikipedia]
As I was pushed off a wagon with five other children, I looked back again to see if I recognized anyone from my tribe had been brought to this strange place with me. However, all I could see were people from different tribes speaking different languages that I did not understand. Some looked like they did not know where they were or what to do, but neither did I. All while this was reverberating through me, another group of children were dragged onto a platform with all eyes fixated on us. One man had been calling out some loud gibberish while white hands flew up in the air another. A man had come up on the platform and stuck his hands in our mouths, pulling down our lips to revel our teeth, pushing our heads back and forth to have the crowd to examine us, then left us alone. From there, I was drug off the rickety platform and sold to a man by the name of Thomas Affleck, owner of a cotton and sugar plantation who was in possession of about two dozen slaves. One of his slave owners shackled my neck, feet, and hands, and from there I was thrown into another wagon about to go even deeper into this new land. As I screamed from the fleeing wagon, the white man pulled a burlap sack over my head and pulled me down. When we finally reached the plantation, the burlap sack that smelled of tobacco was pulled off my head and I was thrown once more from the wagon. The white man that brought me here said something to me that I did not understand. I later found out that he was giving me strict instructions on how to address these strange people with yes and no ma’ams and sirs. All I could think of at that moment was how I was dragged away from my family kicking and screaming wondering if I would not ever see them again, and this man tells me not to get out of line.
That evening I was taken into the plantation and told what my job would be. The children had specific jobs such as washing clothes, carry water to the slaves working in the fields, and hanging suspended in nets over the master’s table to fan flies while they were eating. To read more, click here
Written By Tovia Tisby