My Heart Has Been Heavy
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My name is Jhordan Price and I am an 11th-grade student at Propel Andrew's Street High School. I am also a member of Propel School’s Action Team.
I just wanted to come on here and talk a little bit today because my heart has been heavy the past few weeks and it has been a lot heavier the last few days. We’re in the midst of a pandemic right now with COVID-19 and yet black people are still facing the disease of racism. Police brutality is still very much prevalent, even during this pandemic.
Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd - say their names! They were all murdered.
It’s sad that even during a pandemic, it has been proven that we cannot trust the police to do their job, which is to protect and serve. It's sad that every black person, whether they admit it or not, hurts every time someone that looks like them is executed. It’s sad that back youth can’t be youth without being worried about how they will be perceived and stereotyped - wondering if a trip to the store or a run around the neighborhood or wearing a hoodie while being black will go wrong and end their lives and leave their future a mystery full of could have beens.
My heart is heavy and I am tired. Having visuals of last moments, last words, last breaths, of people who look like me and my family members and my friends stuck in my mind. Playing like flashbacks, feeling like I was there because the video was shared all over social media - that’s traumatizing!
I am here to share my feelings and my thoughts and my words of encouragement. Please, please take care of yourselves, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Being forced to stay in the house because of a pandemic is hard, hearing about black people being brutalized and murdered is hard, being a black student and having responsibilities while all of this is going on - the feeling is unreal.
Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just quit and let the fury and sadness takeover but then I remind myself that another black life has been taken away and me quitting and not reaching my full potential or attempting to change the world that I live in right now will be like giving them my life as well.
I refuse to give them my life too.
Be encouraged. Know that you are loved, know that life and being black is a blessing, even though it doesn’t always feel like it in times like these. I’m here for you. Have the tough conversations with your non-black and even black friends, if you are up to it. Don’t watch the videos that are being shared. You don’t have to watch the video to be an activist and advocate for justice to be served.
It is time to speak up and put an end to this pattern. Silence is complacency at this point because the unfortunate reality is our justice system fails us every time but there is power in numbers. Use your voice.
Thank you for listening
This piece was taken from an audio editorial shared with us by HundrED Innovator Larry Berger, Founder and Executive Director of SLB Radio Productions (SLB), an organization from the United States known for its use of audio and related tools to amplify voices of youth and other often-marginalized individuals.
HundrED 2020 Innovation Youth Express, created by SLB Radio Productions, Inc., leverages SLB-developed principles and methods successfully deployed throughout its 35+ years of encouraging and distributing authentic stories, ideas, and creative work by thousands of children and youth in Grades K-12 to an audience of peers and adults.