Hello PHSC community!
In light of recent events regarding the death of unarmed black man, George Floyd, by the hands of police, I’ve felt it is an appropriate time to write.
Amid the current unrest worldwide concerning the treatment of our people, I’ve reflected on how I can initiate my own change.
I have been attending Princes Hill for almost six years now and during my time here I’ve always felt that advocacy for issues related to hardships faced by the black community in schools is somewhat overlooked in comparison to other modern-day societal issues.
I can comfortably say as a mixed-race individual that most of my black brothers and sisters have faced some form of harsh racial adversity at least once in their childhood. This adversity makes many of us question our own identity and feel isolated, as we struggle to comfortably ‘fit in’ to a predominantly white society. Many students find it difficult to embrace and be proud of their race identity as their ‘unique’ superficial traits hinder them from finding true peace with who they are as they grow up in a school environment.
Unfortunately, the dark complexion of our skin can feel like a burden as it changes the way we view ourselves and how a minority few acts towards us. This is in large part a result of the racially prejudiced ideologies of black people seen throughout history, in the media and often in pop culture.
As I now enter a stage of my life where my childhood racial adversities have been overcome, I feel it is my responsibility as a year 12 student of colour to show other younger black students at this school that the hardships they face are not targeted directly at them, however they are endured in similar ways by many of us.
I want them to know that the people at this school do care for them and they are not alone.
All I ask of the school community is that we show support to our black student body during these difficult times. We must collectively stand up for the equal rights and treatment of all our diverse ethnicities and cultures at Princes Hill and actively call out any forms of racism we witness to further establish the progressive, ethical culture that we already advocate.
By writing this I hope to lay the seeds of change that will eventually blossom with your assistance to eradicate the race issues that we, the black community, have suffered for too long.
The only way to defeat racism is by keeping it an ongoing conversation and acknowledging the fact that it affects the minds of adolescents.
I cannot emphasise enough how much our ethical actions in the school environment will positively affect how our society acts towards racism in the coming years!
WE ARE THE FUTURE!
Thank you for your attention!
Lucien Ibanda, Year 12 student.