In honor of Black History Month, we are spotlighting three recent YCTeen stories that demonstrate Black history and shared cultural identity as a source of strength in the lives of young people. These stories chronicle experiences of anti-Black racism in schools and how these writers turned to Black historical figures, liberation movements, neighborhoods, and youth affinity groups to learn that their sense of self expands far beyond the often limited and violent imaginations imposed on them.
I get to decide what it means to me.
By Christina Oxley
“I don’t have to conform to this one-dimensional caricature of what it means to be black.”
These are steps I’m taking to fight racism.
By Josiah Alexander
“Watching this young boy have one violent fight after another on the jail’s surveillance video frightened me, because it was too close to home.”
It’s been a long journey to overcome the shame caused by prejudiced peers at predominantly white schools.
By Kayla Ruano-Lumpris
“Harlem’s vibe is communal. It feels like the invisible strings of our shared culture, history, and identity as Harlemites connect us into one massive web of innate togetherness.”