Black Sheep (by Veronica Millage)

Introduction & question

Veronica1I knew from a young age I wanted to help people. It was a no brainer to choose family services as my theme. I wanted to do something with an organization that had touched my life in some way. I have elderly family that receive meals on wheels. I originally wanted to volunteer at Loaves and Fishes doing meals on wheels. They deliver hot meals to home bound elderly people. That didn’t work out with my schedule. I ended up doing a DIY project making greeting card that went out with the meals. They go out with hopes of lessening depression and loneliness. I learned small things make huge differences. When it came time to researching a question or issue with in my theme, I again looked at my own family to see what barriers we have come up against in the community. The biggest issue for my family in Hillsboro is racism. My family and I have been called names, looked over and my daughters have even had issues in school with teachers and other children. We have been called Niggers and told my children should not be allowed out of our yard because they didn’t belong. I was shocked to hear others agreed. We are treated like black sheep. That brings me to my question. Are young black people, especially black women at a greater disadvantage throughout life?

Research & Annotations

Klein, Rebecca. “Black Children Face The Most Barriers To Success In America, Asians The Least.” Huffington Post 1 Apr. 2014. Print.

This article talks about the disadvantages black children have from a young age. The graduation rate is much less than white peers and other ethnic groups. They face greater barriers from birth. Most Black children are born into poverty and violence. Only 66% of black kids reach graduation while all other groups are graduating at a 92% success rate. Asians take a majority of that percentage. When it comes to test scores in school age children, Black kids have by far the worst scores. Race gaps start small early then begins to widen when children get older. Something as small as low birth weight can have a great impact in the long run. There are other factors as black children get further into the school system. Racism becomes the biggest barrier.

Things like harsher punishments and less access to good teachers prevent graduation. Studies show Black children are routinely discriminated against. Black children are crucial to the future of the United States. Black children will make up a majority of the working force in America they have to be educated properly. This article was written in hopes of shedding some light as to how disadvantages begin for black you youth.

Quinn, Erin. “Violence Against Women of Color.” Washington Reports On Middle East Affairs 34.5 (2015): 44. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.

Black women have it hardest by far. This articles is short but gets to the facts about black woman and the barriers they face in society and in the work place. 70% of all black woman will experience some type of violence in her life time. Domestic violence in the highest form of violence. Black women are not seen or heard that’s why you don’t hear about crimes committed against them. Black women are also victims of the cyber world. Standards of beauty, dress and mannerism were created by the white men. Black women are shamed for being bigger in stature, having natural curly hair and dark skin. An educated Black woman is a double negative. They have to adapt styles of dress and hair so they do not offend. Black women are expected to uphold the images of white women outside of the home. Black women will always have a harder life.

Luckerson, Victor. “Millennials Can’t Afford to Be Color-Blind About Race.” Time 168.3(2015): 25-26. EBSCOhost. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

In this article Luckerson explains why America is in crisis and how racism with affect the country. It explains today’s youth are thought to believe happy endings and that racism will get better or is already eradicated. Today people are waiting for a big display of debate or presidential intervening to get the modern day race war under control. The fact of the matter is racism will only get better if micro level issues are addressed. That comes from person to person intervening and change. It goes on to say in most homes race is never discussed. In a poll taken by MTV, because a large portion of viewers are 18-24 say only 20% of homes discuss racial issues inside the home. Black people are two times as likely to be arrested for the same crime as white people.

If these issues continue to be ignored America will fall. More than half of today’s youth under 5 are Black. It is especially important to educate the black youth so they may assume their positions in society as engineers, teachers, doctors and political leaders. By 2043 the shift in black uneducated population will be felt. Is crucial to the survival of America to knock down racial barriers and educate black youth. They will be running the country. If disadvantages persist the Nation will crumble.

How to Get Involved

I have to teach my young black children they must grow thick skin. I teach them the hidden truth, the one that hides behind lies of book pages and the media. I show special attention to my 3 young black girls because being a black woman is the hardest thing they will ever have to do in life. They will always be judged, always have to work harder but most likely fall short. Racism will infect every aspect of life even at home where they are supposed to feel the safest. I teach my children that they can be anything they choose. The most important thing to teach a black child is they will have to prove their worth. Teach them they too can be doctors, lawyers, educators and writers. It can be done in every community regardless of race through volunteering with at risk black children. You too can help show at risk youth they are important. Organizations like Boys & Girls Club of Portland, Big Brother Big Sister Programs, and SEI target at risk black youth. The best chance black youth has, is to teach them. This has to be done child by child.

Here are some links to organizations if you choose to help:

SEI self-enhancement center

Big Brother Big Sister program

Boys & Girls Club




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