Riding in the front seat, in the middle of this historic moment, has been surreal.

It’s as if I’m watching a documentary – except I’m also a character in that documentary. Being a reporter at this time has been a challenge, but it’s one that I’m happy to accept. We’re witnessing a movement unlike any other I have ever seen before.

We’ve seen protests before, but we have never seen anything like what we’ve witnessed following George Floyd‘s death. Protests have been ongoing globally for several days. Not just here in the United States. I’ve seen people all over the world, standing together with their brothers and sisters in America. Even people from my birthplace – Jamaica.

It’s amazing to watch as people begin to have tough conversations that they’ve ignored for many years.

Honestly, I didn’t know the true meaning of racism until I moved to the United States. Jamaica has its problems (colorism being one of them), but I’ve never felt inequality on the scale that I’ve experienced here in the United States.

It’s as if, I became fully aware that I was black – when I moved to the US.

When former President Barack Obama won in 2008, I was attending a New Jersey high school where I was a minority. And the reaction to his victory was one that was not immediately positive. Some students were genuinely upset when he won. Meanwhile, I was sitting there amazed and overjoyed that he made history as the first black President.

In comparison, I’ve seen several black Prime Ministers in Jamaica. We have black people featured on our currency and they are known as our national heroes.

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Jamaica’s seven national heroes.

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Meanwhile, here in America, we’re still fighting to get Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill.

Part of the reason I attended a Historically Black College, in the United States, was to remove the distractions that come with being a minority. I wanted time to immerse myself in the African diaspora. Time to feel valued and surrounded by people who believe that I can do anything.

I sincerely hope that we come out of this movement with solutions that will create meaningful change, now that the issues are being highlighted.

It seems the ball is rolling in the right direction.

Former President Barack Obama discussed the movement on June 3, 2020. 

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About the author

Reporter/Fill-in anchor with ABC7 News

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