Stephanie Akinfolarin, age 14
This is a scene that I wrote about something that represents unity in the Black community, especially after the Black Lives Matter movement.
Light of Unity
I hesitate to step foot into my middle school. I always tend to put my guard up because who knows what today’s attacks will bring.
“Ew, Stephanie, what are you eating?” or “Is your hair fake?” or even jokes such as “You want to know why Black people grow so tall? That’s because the knee grows!”
The questions, the words, the isolation – do I want that in my life today?
George Floyd wasn’t given a chance to breathe. Who says I will be given the chance to be who I am? The basic human necessity, breath, was stolen from him by the wrath of a knee – a white knee, to be specific.
No, I will not be the next victim of such violence, whether physical or mental. I can feel the walls in my mind, building higher and higher, further blocking the light of unity on the other side. I can feel myself spiraling as I stand there, with my knees locked in place. Sweat drips down my arched back as fear paralyzes my body.
Suddenly, someone grabs my hand. It is soft and tender, and entangles in mine. I look to my side and see an unfamiliar face, but her chocolate-colored skin and dark kinky hair bring warmth to my unsteady heart, slowing it down.
She whispers in my ear, “I got you.”
That’s all I need. The tears that were at the brink of my swollen eyes begin to cease from existence. The wall starts to fall, and there is a glimmer of possibility, hope and unity is on the other side.