Grace and Race Ministries, LLC is pleased to introduce a new Board of Directors. Each week, Grace and Race Ministries, LLC will feature one of their writings.
Growing up as a Black male in a predominately white neighborhood and school system, I was exposed to the harsh realities of racism at a young age. I quickly learned that looking different from other people meant that some people would treat me differently. As early as middle school I noticed that some of my white classmates made negative comments about my skin tone and how I dressed and spoke. Some teachers talked down to me even though I was a good student and I often had to prove my intelligence more than white students. When trying to answer questions and be a part of the discussion, many times my idea and input were listened to and shrugged off.
The more I noticed the racial disparities in my classes and in extracurricular activities and sports, the more frustrated and angrier I became. I was angry because of the unfair and unjust treatment I witnessed over and over again. I sometimes turned on the news and that made things worse because of the many reports of innocent, unarmed Black men and women, young and old, being killed all across the country because of the color of their skin. At school, my Black classmates and I were encouraged by guidance counselors to take easier classes than white students in spite of us often having similar GPAs. In my neighborhood, my friends and I would get stopped and questioned by the police simply for taking a walk or playing basketball. These experiences of injustice and learning about racism through family, school and church, compelled me to want to do something about it.
Being raised in a Christian household by a mother who was not only a pastor, but a social justice activist, I was able to see first-hand the power of working through God to create the change you want to see. I watched my mother many times speak and march at protests across the country, preaching peace and justice for all people. It inspired me to want to help create that powerful change I watched her fight for my whole life. This led to me wanting to join Grace & Race Ministries, Inc.
Now, as a 20-year-old college student at Morehouse College, I see the perfect opportunity to make my voice heard. As the world becomes more and more divided and racial vitriol increases, it is important to have a variety of voices working to find solutions to the racial injustices we see in daily life. Now is the right time to do any and everything we can to create the kind of dialogue between people from different backgrounds that can transform our society. In the eyes of God, we are all God’s people and we must work to treat each other as such – in other words, loving our neighbors. This ministry that we bring together in Grace & Race is a vital piece to the puzzle for creating a forgiving, loving, and caring world in the name of the Lord. No matter who you are or what you believe, there is a path towards creating equality and unity. And, Grace & Race is dedicated to forging the path others can follow.