Back to All Events

Would You Walk In These Shoes?

27.jpeg

“When I was in 8th grade, I wanted to do track because a lot of the girls that I felt like I was part of did track. I was in 8th grade and I was running with high school students and I lost. And that was the worst experience in my life, not because I lost but because of the way the people who watched me lose made me feel. Like “you took a L,” “you were dead last,” “you’re slow,” all of that… I never wanted to do track again up here and it was like people who looked like me that were laughing at me and telling me that you’re basically not as good as you think you are… even though my senior year, I did track and trained and I actually put work in and I placed 1st and 2nd every time. And I can only imagine, had I stayed in track from freshman year, how much more of a scholarship, how much more money, and how much I could've gotten out of being an athlete through that school as a track star. [Instead, I let] people who look like me to put me down because I wouldn’t have cared what white people said, but I definitely cared about what black people said about me and they did not do anything but put me down.

[Other times] I found myself in terrible situations, physical situations, arguments, where people just wanna make you have so many arguments that you are bound to sound stupid at one point because it’s happening all the time. So I’ve had so many situations, mainly in high school, not really in college and especially not towards my end of my college years, where I’m supposed to get physical with you because I’m a black girl. When people want to bring violence to you, because you’re black and you’re supposed to be able to handle this, you’re supposed to be like that. But no, I don’t want to fight you because I don’t need to. My face is supposed to be ready for work not for scratches - that’s gonna look inappropriate.

The culture at Amherst is not really my cup of tea, but I have understood that it’s a great place to better myself and grow and take care of myself and so when I’m ready to dip out, I’m not far behind the world - if not, I’m far ahead. So it’s been a great treatment center.

You know, honestly, I think I’ve done a great job just because I could've gone the other way, in high school, because I didn’t have to do all those clubs and I didn’t have to do all those extra stuff… So I’m proud of myself for doing what I did and I understand that it is a commitment and it is a lot of work. I’m not perfect and there’s a lot that I need to do to improve and be better... I just want to use up all the resources I can at this school in the fall. Figure out this graduate school program, which one is better than going NBA route, which one is different, little bit more unique. Figure something out, shape myself, and then I can say that I did it. I definitely had help along the way, that’s something that I will always credit, but I’ve also had a lot of stuff holding me down, pushing me back, specifically people, administration, job, things that are just not fun, but fun when you actually overcome it and 100% survive it.”

 

Earlier Event: April 16
Above and Beyond
Later Event: July 5
Why Journalism