BLAC Day: Students discuss time here

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Perrin Stein” align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]

Guidance counselor Larry Allen introduced the student panel, which presented D-block yesterday as a part of BLAC Day.

by Douglas Abrams
During D-block, as a part of Black Culture Awareness Day, a panel of African-American students spoke about their experiences at this school, common stereotypes in the African-American community and the struggles that come along with being African-American.
The moderator, guidance counselor Larry Allen, started the presentation with the question, “What has your experience been like at Newton North?”
The panelists talked about how their education at this school has been a generally positive experience despite some minor troubles.
“It is easy to talk to a counselor or a friend to get through school,” said freshman Sadiya Ervin.
Junior Carla Forbes elaborated on some of the issues she has experienced. “Whenever there is a bump it is usually minor and is due to ignorance not malice and is easy to shrug off.”
Allen then asked the panelists about whether they felt that people made assumptions about them based on race.
Ervin answered the question by saying that people often made assumptions about her, however, not because of race. “People assume I act ‘white’ because I go to school in Newton.” Other panelists said they felt compelled to behave in a stereotypically white manner at school. In addition, they said they felt compelled to behave in a stereotypically black way in predominantly African-American environments.
Senior Renee Rabb, said, “I am just Renee—not a color. Just Renee. We are all people and should be treated as individuals.”
Next, Allen asked the panel whether they thought that there was division in the black community at this school between students that live in Boston and students that live in Newton.
Generally, the panelists came to the consensus that there is little division in the black community. However, Ervin said that black students from Boston assume negative things about her because she is from Newton.
Allen ended the presentation by asking the panelists what they planned to do in the future. They all said they plan to attend college.