Youth Voice: A Journal of Being Black in America

Over the summer, ThreeSixty Journalism opened a call for youth to weigh in on recent events in the community. Students were asked to submit audio, visual, and written entries in response to a youth-inspired prompt. The latest #360YouthVoiceChallenge is open to all high school students through Nov. 15, 2020. This fall, the #360YouthVoiceChallenge comes with its own Youth Voice Workshop, wherein students can work on writing personal essays and editorials that they may submit to the #360YouthVoiceChallenge. 

Qwame (beau) Martin, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

A 12-year-old said, “I just want to live, God protect me.” I can relate to this, especially nowadays when I’ve had to realize I actually have to coexist with white supremacists, racists, and people who feed into the ignorance of stereotypes and stigmas. It’s sad to say, but this is a never-ending battle. This exact “war” happened 66 years ago, but we don’t learn about it and talk about it as much as we should. But most of all, I’m not a spokesperson for Black/African American/mixed people nationally. In fact, that’s no one’s job. I just want to be able to go in the store without being followed around. I don’t want to fight for MY history to be taught in schools or be asked what my opinion is when the next innocent Black guy gets killed and people pretend to value my opinion for the 2.5 seconds until the #PoliceBrutality or #BlackLivesMatter trend is over. I’m Black, it’s not a trend, nor is it a struggle. Don’t get me wrong, being Black in America is a struggle, but being Black isn’t a struggle. So, next time an innocent Black person is killed by the police, don’t repeatedly ask me how I feel, because my answer will be, “That could’ve been me!” And it’s a constant reminder that I am being hunted like a prey in this country.

#360YouthVoiceChallenge: Summer 2020