How it Started. How it's Going.

October 30, 2020
girl in front of racist people's faces crossed out
Art by Kim Salac

I wanted to write about self-care, and how my routine has changed since this pandemic. Yet once again I was dragged back to reality and remembered the university I attend. On October 15th the SABLE Society placed ‘White Supremacists’ and ‘Slave Owner’ stickers on the following signs across campus: Maury Hall, Garrett Hall, Brown College, Madison Hall, Curry School, and Minor Hall. The sticker ‘Eugenicist’ was placed on the Alderman Library sign. The dilemma of being a Black student at UVA is that we have to go through stress, depression, and oppression all at the same time.

 

The Lawn became a breeding ground of the UVA experience. Here and now the behavior of white male students is accepted over the actions of students of color. 

 

Thirty-five acres of Monocan and Manahoac land sitting on the thirty-eighth longitudinal line. Extorting enslaved laborers to build the infamous Lawn of the University of Virginia. In 1817, Thomas Jefferson “founded” the University of Virginia and continued to expand his legacy of white supremacy. The Lawn became a breeding ground of the UVA experience. Here and now the behavior of white male students is accepted over the actions of students of color. 

This pandemic has shown me what is necessary. As a third-year, you begin to face the reality that your life as a student is about to end, and adulthood is coming to hit you like a truck. I am constantly telling myself that ‘I just need to make it through the week and I’ll be fine.’ I yearn for December 11th, when I will be free of school. Performing school work now isn’t the same as it was before the pandemic, before almost two semesters of online classes, with me here in Houston, away from the friends and classmates who made college bearable. Now I only allocate so much time towards schoolwork and the other hours left in my day are self care.

 

I try to feel comfortable outside my room, but it feels as if I’m on display. Sitting in class, the only Black person, only Black woman. I feel consumed by the information and wonder if when I speak people really hear or see me.

 

But even if I were in Charlottesville, would things be better? Transported to my room on campus, I am with my friends having a game night. Avoiding school work one day, then going to Clem to “finish” homework the next day. I try to feel comfortable outside my room, but it feels as if I’m on display. Sitting in class, the only Black person, only Black woman. I feel consumed by the information and wonder if when I speak people really hear or see me.

How it started: I wanted to go to college out of state and make a name for myself. How it’s going: Attending this racist university has reaffirmed and further opened my eyes to how it will save itself before its students.

Everything has an equal and opposite reaction, how it starts, and how it ends, but it’s not equal — it’s just opposite.

 

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