Activism all the time

Sophomore stays involved with Black Lives Matter movement beyond Black History Month.

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“Being Black is being strong. Black people have come a long way and didn’t make any excuses. Black culture is unity. We all have each other’s backs like they’re our own, because they are.”

Black History Month takes place in February, and it’s a holiday that is acknowledged across the nation. This is a time when everyone can reminisce on the adversity, struggles and accomplishments that Black people have experienced, but for students like sophomore Samuel Jackson, known by his friends as Sam, Black History Month isn’t only on his mind this one month of the year.

As a BLM (Black Lives Matter) activist, singer, songwriter and basketball player for Bridgeland, Sam implies that Black history is a key component in what drives his resilience.

“The history Black people have has made this generation intolerable to any type of racial injustice,” Jackson said, “It has also made many Black people today more confident in chasing any dream that may have seemed impossible before.”

After countless acts of violence last summer like George Floyd’s death, Breonna Taylor’s murder and protests that went awry, Sam knew that it was only right to take a stand. Posting petitions and marching at protests were just a few steps of action that he took.

“I spread awareness and do my part to make people’s voices heard through social media and through my music. Seeing how Black people are treated inspired me to speak up about the problems I had with the justice system,” Jackson said.

Finding an influencer to model yourself after in a time when Black people aren’t always painted with the brightest light can be a struggle, and speaking out against African American issues in a predominantly white community often raises tension.

“Someone I look up to in the Black community is Lebron James, a famous NBA player,” Jackson said, “The main thing I like about him is the fact that even though he is doing more than well for himself, he still stands up for what is right. He never let his stature get in the way of his morals and I respect him for that.”

Black history affects everyone because African Americans have played a big role in how life is today. While it is important to understand the trials African Americans have faced, it’s not all that this month should be about. Anyone who truly takes the time to learn should focus on the lessons being taught: perseverance, leadership and truth.

“In my opinion, Black history shows young African American kids that anything is possible. I value Black history because it shows me that I can do anything I put my mind to,” Jackson said, “People can research the things black people have done and educate themselves on racial injustice. This should be a time of reflection and improvement.”