Interviewer: Thank you for joining us today. Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us about your experience with racism?
Interviewee: Sure, my name is Sarah and I am a Black woman. Unfortunately, I have experienced racism throughout my life, from microaggressions to outright discrimination.
Interviewer: That’s awful to hear. Can you give some examples of these experiences?
Interviewee: Of course. When I was in high school, a group of white boys would make monkey noises at me when they saw me in the hallway. In college, one of my professors assumed that I was only accepted into the program because of affirmative action and made sure to remind me of it every chance he got.
Even now as an adult, I have had people clutch their purses or cross the street when they see me walking towards them on the sidewalk. It’s exhausting having to constantly deal with these kinds of situations.
Interviewer: It sounds like these experiences have had a big impact on you. How do you cope with them?
Interviewee: Honestly, it can be difficult sometimes. But over time I’ve learned to take care of myself emotionally by leaning on friends and family who understand what it’s like to be Black in America. Therapy has also been incredibly helpful for processing some of these experiences.
I’ve also found strength through activism and using my voice to speak out against racism whenever possible.
Interviewer: That’s inspiring to hear! Do you think there has been progress made towards combating racism in recent years?
Interviewee: Yes and no. On one hand, we are seeing more conversations being had around race and systemic oppression than ever before thanks in part to social media movements like #BlackLivesMatter.
But at the same time, we are still seeing police brutality against Black people happening all too often without any real consequences for those responsible. We’re still seeing racial disparities in healthcare outcomes, employment opportunities, and so many other areas. So while there has been progress in some ways, there is still a long way to go.
Interviewer: What do you think needs to be done in order for us to truly combat racism?
Interviewee: There are a lot of things that need to happen, but I think one of the biggest things is education. We need to start teaching accurate history that includes the contributions and struggles of people from all races and backgrounds. We also need to have more conversations about unconscious bias and how it can impact our perceptions of others.
Beyond that, we need systemic change across all levels of society – from education to healthcare to criminal justice. It’s not going to be easy or quick work, but it’s necessary if we want a more just and equitable world for everyone.