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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Opinion | From one Black girl to another: thank you

“I walk my own path, I’ve made my own path.” I was so moved by Malory’s piece that after telling everyone in the vicinity to read it, I sat down to write. Malory told her story and I feel like the best way to honor it is to share a little of mine. 

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and I was much more focused on turning over rocks and digging for worms than analyzing what it means to be Black in America. And other than some ignorant comments, I never gave much thought to my race. I was just Charlotte. But whether or not I noticed it, I have always been the type of Black person to make white people comfortable. I’m agreeable and I don’t challenge the status quo. And for a long time I was fine with that. I was fine with walking the path that others had paved for me — the path I was told would lead to success. But recently, I’ve started believing that it’s time to pave my own path, to stop following others and start leading Black girls on a path of our own.

Growing up, I thought being a Black woman must be the worst combination of identities. In my mind, Black person = oppressed, woman = oppressed, so therefore Black person + woman = double oppressed. Even though as a Black girl I never felt oppressed, and when I looked at my Black mom she never looked oppressed, the math doesn’t lie. What I didn’t understand at the time was that the math doesn’t tell the whole story, because I now know that: Black person + woman = funny, passionate, daughter, awkward, fearless, empowered and intelligent. 

For hundreds of years, we’ve been told—whether directly or indirectly—that we must stand on the sidelines. That we aren’t worthy of playing the game. That we aren’t strong enough, woman enough, smart enough, Black enough, beautiful enough or capable enough. It can feel like our shouts of, “We’re open! Just pass the ball,” fall on deaf ears. So I want to thank Malory for walking into the game, snatching the ball, and passing it to all the Black girls who are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for someone to tell us the truth: we are more than enough.

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Charlotte Murray, Opinion Columnist
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