Black teens fight against today’s racism

Kylie Hughes, Online Editor

Tre’ On Fairgood Jones

It’s the 21st century. To some, racism is a thing of the past. However, to others, including Tre’ On Fairgood Jones, sophomore at North High, it was not left in the past– it is an issue affecting the present.

“Racism still exists, but if you put your mind to something you can still come out on top, no matter the race,” Fairgood Jones said regarding his beliefs on setbacks caused by race.

While Fairgood Jones believes that racism is still an issue, it is more “lowkey” and not as “brought out” as it was in the 60’s.

“They don’t really say anything, anything racist to you, but it’s still there,” said Fairgood Jones.

The racism that he experiences consist of odd glances, rude stares, and sometimes frustrating comments.

On a trip to the mall with his friends, Fairgood Jones found himself at a suit store, looking for some casual clothes with his friends. However, he found it difficult to “shop around and have fun with his friends” when he was receiving the glances and stares in the way that he was, believing that it was caused by his skin color.

“It’s hard with people staring at you for the wrong reasons.”

“People got the wrong idea. They thought we were in there for some other reason, but we just wanted to look around,” Fairgood Jones said.

He said that if you work hard you can succeed even with the racism that still exists today.

At an AAU, Amateur Athletic Union, basketball tournament Fairgood Jones was playing what seemed to be an average basketball game. This was until he started playing in a game with the son of someone who Fairgood Jones believed to be racist.

The man in the stands who came across as a racist to Fairgood Jones yelled from the stands “weird” comments directed toward Fairgood Jones’ team. The man yelled comments regarding speed and athleticism of Black players on the opposing team.

“You just know he was being racist,” Fairgood Jones said.

But as far as racism goes, he is not optimistic.

“It’s not going to go away,” said Fairgood Jones.

However, he said that people should be getting together and working as a community and city to change things, especially during Black History Month.

One thing that Fairgood Jones said that needs to be different is how Black culture is perceived in classes.

“You hear more about the slavery part than the good part of Black history,” Fairgood Jones said, wanting to educate people about more aspects of Black history.

Perhaps in the future, things will be different, as far as racism and the way Black people are perceived, but it is important to not let the stares and comments get in Fairgood Jones believes.

“It’s the 21st century, leave racism in the past,” Fairgood Jones advises with hopes of bringing people together despite skin color differences.



Diamond Cook

Being on the cheer team, cheerleaders get to go from school to school performing at sporting events. However, not all schools have the most welcoming attitude towards the entire team.

Going to cheer at a school that’s predominantly White, the stares are evident ranging from double takes to watchful glances all because of skin color.

Diamond Cook, junior at North High, experiences this often as she travels to other schools for North’s Cheer team. It makes her uncomfortable, because of the specific way those people look at her.

“It’s not a good look. It’s like [they’re saying] ‘I’m about to watch you to make sure you don’t steal my purse.’ But I don’t want your purse,” Cook said.

This scenario, which has happened more than one occasion, irritates Cook. What irritates her most is that the reason people talk is, “because of [her] skin color.”

To Cook, this is just another example proving that racism is still an issue today. It may be quieter than it was decades ago, but there are still racists everywhere.

Even though she doesn’t know a lot of racist people personally, it still affects her because her skin color is Black.

“I don’t understand the point of being racist. You’re not going to gain anything from it,” Cook said.

The outlook for the future, as far as racism, doesn’t look so good to Cook. She said that is not going to get better because “there is always going to be that one White person that doesn’t like that Black person.” Then, as those people pass it on to their own children, the cycle continues, never fully eliminating the issue.

It’s one thing that people stare and say comments, but there is a whole other level of racism that some people have to experience, according to Cook.

Cook recalled a story her pastor told her about an instance when he called the police about a situation, involving a child and the first question the emergency operator asked was “What is their skin color?”. ”

“It shouldn’t matter,” Cook said.

It’s a frustrating issue for Cook as she believes that the judicial system is not fair and not right. However, she excepts that “at the end of the day, everyone has their opinions.”

Because of the stereotypes and different levels of racism that affects the Black community, Cook said that they stick together as Black people to fight the hate.

“We need to come together as a school and community to support each other,” Cook said.



Shauntee Mims

Stereotypes are fixed and widespread ideas about a specific person or thing. They can consist of positive or negative ideas. Different genders, sexualities, and races are stereotyped.

Shauntee Mims, sophomore at North high, is tired of the stereotypes, especially regarding her race.

“I’m trying to break the stereotype,” Mims said.

There are many stereotypes that come with being Black. According to Mims, stereotypes that linger along with being Black are typically negative.

Mims said that people see a Black person and automatically assume they are uneducated, loud, illiterate, and about to make trouble.

“I’ll be in the store and people are like, ‘That Black girl’s gonna be stealing something’,” Mims said.

“[Those people look as if] you are about to do something bad.”

It frustrates Mims because she isn’t about to do something bad and people automatically assume that she is only because of the preconceived notions that follow Black people.

“It’s hard to break through and show that you’re not [part of the stereotype] because people are always going to think that,” Mims said.

Part of the reason that these stereotypes have evolved into the ones they are now is because “Black people don’t get honored enough.”

Some people only notice one side of things. They don’t see as many Black people honored for things. Instead they see aspects that lead to these stereotypes.

From that point parents pass down these same ideas to their children. So, in the end, Mims said that the stereotypes and the underlying racism will not get much better in the future, but it might get quieter.

The best way to disprove stereotypes is to educate the public that the stereotypes are not accurate. Part of this education includes Black History Month, Mims believes.

“We need to make it more noticeable, and show the Black culture that not everyone knows,” Mims said.

Textbooks need to show both sides, according to Mims, instead of the good side.

People need to be educated “until enough people don’t believe the stereotypes.”