What Does Race Mean To You?

  |  Topic: Atlanta Teen Voices, Identity, Race/Ethnicity, Videos, VOX Investigates
By Mikael Trench
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Race, prejudice and discrimination have been factors that have shaped the face of America for centuries now and are just as big today, especially after the major events of 2016., especially with both the major movements that took place in 2016 and President Donald Trump’s controversial stance and new executive order on minorities and immigrants.

As 2016 ended, VOX decided to take the opportunity to see what Atlanta teens think about the topic of race at our event held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. I was able to create this video of several of the teens who participated, sharing their thoughts about what race means to them in this day and age. The responses we received were all very fascinating, to say the least.

The teens interviewed did not discuss any of the controversy of the outside world with the mass shootings, questionable politics or large-scale minority movements that have taken place, but rather they explained what race means to them in their own world. Many pointed out that race is simply a part of them, but not all of them, such as 13-year-old Terrell Wright who said, “I think we’re all equal and … it just means the color of your skin to me, that’s it.”

Some teens also noted that race is simply a way of putting others into categories, such as 18-year-old Jolisa Brown who said, “It’s kind of like, this group that you’re immediately attached to whether or not you elected to be, like it’s just a thing that’s at the center of how the rest of the world is going to perceive you or always perceive you.”

Mikael, 18, is a freshman at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta where he majors in animation. Mikael has made a host of stop-motion and claymation short films, including his award-winning short film “The Tree That Refused To Fall,” and all of them can be found on his YouTube channel, Cyclops Studios.

For VOX’s next community dialogue, save the date: April 29.

This semester, VOX takes a deep-dive into the subject of mental health. Our next community dialogue invites spoken word poetry, conversation and media about this subject — and we welcome teens’ original content all semester long. Just email media@voxatl.org and include your name, age, school (if in school).

Teen Reacts to "Let's Talk About Race"

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