— Around School —My Story
Latin’s Black Students & Alums Speak Out Against Police Brutality
Robert Igbokwe, Editor-in-Chief
An excerpt of this piece has been reprinted with permission as part of “The Forum’s” Coverage of the Protests Against Racial Inequality, June 6, 2020.
To create this piece, I asked 17 black students and alums, “How do you feel?” Only after recording their responses did I realize how impossible my question was. How do you feel? How are we supposed to feel? How should one feel when they hear that yet another black person has died at the hands of those who swore to protect them? How should one feel as they watch their city crumble at the hands of people who have been peaceful for too long? How should one feel when they realize that the Land of the Free has every intention of keeping them in chains? Chains of fear, hopelessness, and servitude that were never truly broken by the 13th Amendment.
The purpose of this piece isn’t for non-black readers to understand how we feel. It’s impossible to understand exactly what these past few weeks have felt like. But hopefully, our thoughts and experiences can offer insight into the gravity of this situation and our hopes for the future.
“I was angry when I heard about George Floyd. What the cop did was not right, no matter what angle you look at it from. I did not expect this response from black people, let alone non-black people because I know things like this happen so often. I find it interesting how we always end up rallying for one person’s death. It is like that idiom ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back.’ There are black bodies always dying from police brutality all the time, and so those are the straws. But in this case, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the death of George Floyd. That made people snap and realize that they have to take action. I am proud of the non-black people I see on the street protesting and the influencers using their platforms to be outspoken about their allyship. I am not one to condone violence, but in regards to violent protests, I do understand. People have been trying peaceful protests and those have not been getting us heard so I do understand why some might think it’s okay to turn to violence to get heard.”
– Liza Ampong ’21
Latin School of Chicago is a sponsor of the
an educational speaker series. One of the most recent virtual speaker presentations, White Fragility with Dr. Robin DiAngelo interviewed by Marcus Campbell, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent/Principal at Evanston Township High School, attracted nearly 8,500 people from around the world. In case you missed the live webinar, it was recorded and is available for viewing.