BSU: a Photo Exhibition

“Hello fellow students of Roosevelt High School. This is Jinji, your Black Student Union President. The other day while I was walking to first period something astonishing, yet not surprising happened. I overheard two caucasian males behind me say, ‘Oh look, a n****r,’ referring to me. If this happened to me then it’s sure to be happening to others here. What are we going to do Roosevelt? What are we going to do? Now is the time, more than ever to come together and stand against injustice. Will you stand with me Roosevelt?”

Classrooms fell silent during morning announcements on Friday September 29th as BSU President Jinji Amen’s story ran through Roosevelt’s halls. Roosevelt has started to answer Jinji’s call, but often before we can change the way things are we must first understand what we are fighting to change. To do this, The Roosevelt News went to find out more about what BSU means to its leading members. We sat down with them in an interview and photoshoot to ask the questions: What does BSU mean to you? And what do we do next?

Elijah Ochoa

“Personally I think BSU represents a community. It’s not just black kids who go and join BSU, it’s also white kids, and latino kids, and asain kids. We all go and join this community in order to project activism among the school.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoska Habtom

“I think it’s not going to be an overnight fix kind of thing. A lot of people think; ‘there’s racism in Seattle?’ A lot of people are surprised, it’s not just because you don’t see it being enforced by the law, like the Jim Crows, it doesn’t mean it’s not existing, you still see tiny little things: microaggressions.”

 

Gavyn Brayman

“BSU means a place where people of all races, all backgrounds, all ethnicities, all genders, and all sexualities, and all socioeconomic backgrounds can come together. We can discuss hard hitting issues, and we can also have fun with each other, and just enjoy each other’s presence without any kind of boundary between us.”

Jinji Amen

“The morning after [the incident] I woke up to a lot of text messages that were pretty angry, people were upset about it, which is rightly so. They wanted to do something about it but it seemed most people were angry and just wanted to fight fire with fire. For me I thought the best course of action would be education. I think a lot of these things happen because people don’t really know what’s okay and what’s not okay.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You don’t have to be black to fight back” – BSU 2017-2018 Motto

 

Photographs By: Maya Williams

Writing and Interviews By: Natalie Delman

2 Comments

  1. Amanda Schwartz

    Thank you for representing what is right. It makes me very proud to work at school with you as students. Also, the pictures are fantastic!

  2. Christine A Roux

    Fabulous reporting. Framing a discussion of this cowardly hallway bullying in the leadership of BSU is exactly the role TRN can play in combatting microaggressions such as what Jinji experienced. Jinji’s courage in exposing her experiences is as important as what is happening nationwide as women and others are coming out in defense of themselves against sexual aggression. Keep it up!!!! Love reading the blog (but where are the paper archives?)

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