College of Charleston Students Explain the Importance of #BlackLivesMatter

College of Charleston Students Explain the Importance of #BlackLivesMatter

College of Charleston students want the world to know that #BlackLivesMatter. Junior Brandon Chapman explains, “We’re joining this call to action in regard to the devauluation of black life that is prevalent in this country.”

“I think we all desperately want to go about our days not doing anything about it. We convince ourselves that because it isn’t us, someone else will do something or that it doesn’t matter. It may not matter to you because you don’t fit the profile of naturally being dangerous, but it matters to so many boys just trying to walk to class or the grocery store or sitting in their car listening to music.”

– Siera Barksdale, senior sociology major

On October 16, 2014, a discussion on the recent shootings of unarmed black males will be held, along with a screening of the film, Fruitvale Station. The event is from 5:30-7:45 p.m. in room 116 of the Education Center (25 St. Philip St.). This event is organized by the African American Studies program, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and CofC Black Student Union.

“This week’s discussion should be a place where students, regardless of color, are able to express their feelings on the recent killings of black youth.”

– Brandon Chapman, junior political science major

“I would like to see the conversation started and hear student’s thoughts and feelings. Through the open discussion I hope to validate people’s feelings around the very touchy situation of racialized police brutality and the tensions people may now feel after murder cases such as Trayvon Martin’s or Jordan Dunn’s, which were popularized in the media but there are so many more that we don’t hear about because they just aren’t sensationalized. Let’s talk about that, let’s talk about the murders that don’t make it to the media, lets talk about the motive behind these murders, let’s talk about the anger and the apathy. My personal goal in participating in this event is to be supportive of my peers thoughts and feelings, so we can talk about what to put that energy into. Anger that cannot be transformed into anything is not constructive and we want to be constructive with our actions and feelings.”

– Jasmin Wilson, senior English and African American studies major

Their goal is to look forward, not back.

“I hope for understanding, empathy, and knowledge for those people in positions of power. I hope that people can take a look at their prejudices, whether they want to admit they have them or not, and decide not to act on them. And I really hope that our young black boys (men as well) can walk down the street unafraid that the color of their skin will dictate whether or not they live that day.”

– Siera Barksdale