As our VOX Investigates team leads a semester-long dive into the controversial topic of race and its relation to teens in Atlanta, we’ll share team members’ reflections and stories. We hope you’ll share your views and stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow along on our social media. Look for #voxinvestigates. -Akhil Vaidya/VOX Investigates teen editor
A Letter to my Privileged Self
You don’t realize how privileged you really are. You don’t see the opportunities you get every day, the little ways in which life is easier for you than it is for those around you. The color of your skin gives you an automatic advantage, a leg up in the world that others fight for every day. From the moment the world laid eyes on you, you had opportunities others dream about. And you don’t always see it. Or you choose not to because it makes you uncomfortable.
Being white is a blessing, but it’s a shame that you’re not rewarded for your talents but for your skin color. It’s a shame that your chances of success are higher, not because of your work ethic or intelligence, but because you happen to be white. It is a shame that race even has to be a factor in the opportunities someone has. It is a shame that people who work as hard as you, people who are good and kind and could do so many great things for the world never get a chance to make a difference because of a characteristic they were born with.
So you can’t keep quiet anymore.
These problems need to be addressed and publicized, these voices need to be heard. You have to step out of your comfort zone and talk about racism as it really is because it is real.
It is still a problem.
And you have to be part of the solution.
Candace, 16, is a junior at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School.
Want to pick up your copy of VOX in print?
Find us at the Teen Stage at DBF this weekend —
especially Sunday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. for a teen poetry slam and open mic.
Want to create some powerful poetry? Join us…
for free Atlanta Word Works workshops, held at VOX twice per month, just for Atlanta-area teens. September AWW Workshops are Thursday, 9/15, 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, 9/24, 3-5 p.m. Contact Sarah@voxatl.org for more info.