Following the recent protests and political climates in the country, the Sugar Hill Youth Council organized a Zoom event on June 22 to offer an open forum for both conversation and informative dialogue.
Guest speaker Dr. Gueh is a counselor at Lanier High School and founder of Brothers Making Moves. The organization exists to empower the Black community by sharing inspiration, career advice and more.
Gueh discussed the history and roots of white supremacy and racial tensions.
“The Black oppression has not started with slavery,” he said. “Dehumanization of black people started all the way with the Muslim Slave Trade in the early 20th century.”
Gueh explained the cycle of racial socialization in a few steps:
- Beginning: what were the racial conversations around you like while you were growing up?
- Fist Socialization: What kind of unwritten and unspoken rules about race were you taught?
- Institution/cultural socialization: How did your schools, government and religious communities address race if at all?
- Enforcements: How was your racial perception challenged with the way society treated different races on the basis of privilege and discrimination?
- Results: What part of the racial socialization have you fallen into? Are you the victim, the oppressor or the ally?
The idea of Racial Development focuses primarily on dialogue. Gueh noted that by saying phrases like, “I do not see color,” there is a level of institutional racism because there is a lack of acknowledgment of who that person is and where they come from.
Following Gueh’s presentation, the audience was split into smaller groups in which students were able to discuss their own perception of the racial tensions among the community.
In the breakout rooms, students discussed a variety of concerns such as performative activism which depends primarily on social media as a means to promote social justice.
Change starts with deep conversation and the willingness to educate yourself and become more aware of the viewpoints of people around us, declares Youth Mayor-Elect Bhaumi Shah.
“The youth have so much power and passion that discussions like these can help kickstart the voices of activists amongst us,” she concludes.