To Our Black Students, with Love, is a series of letters from the SLCC student body to our Black students. The Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs started this letter campaign to show solidarity with our students in response to the Zoom bombing that occurred during the Black History Month Poetry Slam hosted by the Black Student Union in February 2021. Read more letters here.
Dear Black Students of SLCC,
I am deeply disgusted with what happened at the Black History Month Poetry Slam. Although I was not in attendance, the email I received describing what happened left emotions that are too well known by Black and brown bodies. As a brown body, I would like to offer my alliance and love to the Black community, not only at SLCC but within all my communities. That being said, I would like to offer a theme I have taken on in my life as of 2021, which is “rise above.” I later realized what I really meant was Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high.”
People that are still perpetuating anti-blackness are living lives of hate and not of love. I live a life of love. To me, that means seeing communities and people of those communities for what they are, not falling into false perpetuations of individuals of color, which is spread through many sources. It means looking at history and seeing the beauty, perseverance, and resilience of Black people, then wanting to celebrate each victory of the Black community. It means knowing that if challenges like segregation, discrimination, and the absence of civil rights can be defeated then, they can be defeated now as they take on new forms.
I take your hands and will not let go. In places of discrimination, I will speak out for Black individuals. In situations that Black people face injustice, I will fight for much needed social justice. And in times that feel like defeat and isolation, I will still be holding your hand, letting you know that I care, and that you are very loved, and are seen for the abundance of strength, beauty, and resilience that Black and brown bodies have developed.
So when these unnamed sources went low with anti-Black messages during the poetry slam, we go high, coming together and reminding each other of those abundances of strength, beauty, resilience, and love.