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African American Literature Class Raises Awareness on ‘Take a Knee’

Photo+by+Gabriela+Covolan+Costa
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African American Literature Class Raises Awareness on ‘Take a Knee’

Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

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On Oct. 19, the African American literature class made a bulletin board about the “Taking a Knee” movement.

The movement started in the summer of 2016 when NFL player Colin Kaepernick stayed seated during the national anthem.

According to Nick Wright, Fox Sports host, he did so to protest inequality, police brutality and racial injustice.

“He’s kneeling to anyone who feels oppressed by what the country as a whole is doing to their group of people,” junior Madison McShepard said.

The class put the board up to explain the reason behind the movement.

“I don’t want people to think that we are trying to be disrespectful or putting down the people who serve our country,” senior Taylor Royster said. “It is just something we decided to do that we felt would get our point heard rather than just being disrespectful towards the country.”

“We want people to see it as a positive thing, where we are all coming together peacefully to get our point of view across,” she added.

The students hoped to educate the school about the movement.

We want people to see it as a positive thing, where we are all coming together peacefully to get our point of view across.”

— Senior Taylor Royster

“If you don’t educate people… they may find information that is false.” McShepard said. “And if they don’t hear it from our point of view they might have a distorted [view].”

Senior Marissa Thomas emphasized that this is only the first step.

“This is a beginning,” she said. “We also have more things to say, to do, to show and to prove,” she explained. “And if we catch their attention now, they can also listen to us in the future.”

Senior Sridhar Uppalapati agreed.

“It takes majority consent to achieve change, and it’s too easy for the majority to ignore minority voices,” he said. “The only way to force people in the majority to confront oppression is through education.”

While Beachwood often prides itself on its diversity, some African American students feel that they are not fully accepted.
“People don’t accept our culture in Beachwood,” junior Dani Smith said.

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Gabriela Covolan Costa, Staff Writer

Gabriela Covolan Costa moved to Beachwood from São Paulo, Brazil in March of 2016.

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African American Literature Class Raises Awareness on ‘Take a Knee’