5 The truth

Created by Sreymoon Mao


Black Lives Matter and red paint on defaced statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston’s North End waterfront park.
Photo Credit: Stephen Passacantilli, 2015


The year 2020 will make the history books years from now, but will the truth be told? Will I have to educate my future children that this year was more than just people dying from COVID? Will the education system do better when it comes to educating their students about Race in America? 400 years of oppression, and African Americans are still being discriminated against and killed in 2020. If speaking about Race and Racism is uncomfortable, then what is comfortable? This was not the year to be grateful and appreciative, this was a wake-up call.

In all my years of education I feel like the system failed me. I remembered every History class I took, and not one of them taught me anything about Race, Racism, and Slavery. We were taught that Christopher Columbus was a hero who “discovered” America, but not educated about the land stolen from the Indigenous people. Being a young girl, I was not allowed to watch the news because it “wasn’t for kids.” That’s another reason why I grew up uneducated about certain topics and politics. There are many ways of explaining to a child about what happens in the real world without traumatizing them. But my parents refused to do so, and told me it wasn’t important. Why are we kept in the dark about our country’s history? So now being a young adult I finally have a voice, and an opinion. I educated myself on these topics, and found a sense of identity. This took me 19 years to figure out and I have never felt so much rage in my life. All I can do now is to continue educating myself because knowledge is power, and I strongly believe that.

I knew deep down that I was missing something important about myself. That one day I would have something important to say. Being in college taught me that I can either move on or use what I’ve learned to contribute to something great. I have the privilege to use my voice, represent my generation and educate others, and I refuse to back down. Let me start with this. Black people, and POC should not fear for their life when walking out their own homes. I should not have to tell my brother to take off his hood when walking to the park, when all he wants to do is play basketball with his friends. I shouldn’t have to watch innocent lives being taken on social media.

Media Attribution/Credit:
Stephen Passacantilli, 2015 


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Black Lives Matter Collective Storytelling Project by A University of Washington Tacoma cross-course collaboration between TSOC 265 and TCOM 347 courses. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.