Defending Our Dreams

As an African American student attending Florida A&M University, we originate from African cultures. Our ancestors had fight many battles.

Should you be worried as an African American for going to the store for a simple snack, playing music in your car or just innocently walking the streets at night? Should you have to dress or behave a certain way just so you can avoid being profiled?  

About 40 years after the Civil Rights Movement where we as African Americans live in a society where equality and freedom are presented but these rights are not free of discrimination. Many feel like they do not have time or know too much about the system that oppressed African Americans, but with an organization like Dream Defenders you learn more about modern day defense against the prejudice, critical race theory, black unity and progression.

Dream Defenders is an organization that develops leaders that are needed for the continuation to progression and to eliminate the oppression that stalks our community.

Police brutality is something that has shocked African Americans greatly in the past few years because of innocent black males being shot to death.

Oscar Grant, 22, was apprehended by officers, assaulted and shot in the back by a police officer.

Jordan Davis, 17, who was shot to death at Jacksonville, Fla., by Michael Dunn because of an argument that began from playing “loud music.”

Damian Breland, a FAMU student from Jacksonville, Fla., felt the situation happened because of racial inequality.

“I’m sure if it was another white man in the car instead of Jordan Davis he wouldn’t have shot him over five times because he wouldn’t turn his music down,” Breland said.

George Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martinto death while walking home one night after purchasing skittles and an Arizona. After following a “suspicious” Martinfor a short distance there was an altercation and the teen died that night; no weapon was found on Martin.

Terah Royes, a senior criminal justice student from Miami, felt afraid for her brothers.

“I am scared because I have a lot of males in my family that are dealing with getting arrested or shot, especially with the way the justice system is set up and being a black male just adds onto the fact of how they aren’t there for you and really want you in jail. I prefer not to be around police officers because they don’t really give safe grounds or equality,” Royes said.

Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed with his hands up when fatally shot six times and including one to the head by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. This case started about two months ago and is still ongoing.

Jazmine Hodgkin, a graduating senior sociology student from Maryland, included that we need to take responsibility for each other.

“We affect each other in what we do and with everything going on it makes me afraid to approach officers” Hodgkin said.

Whether you know about the situation or not, there is a need to take action before the bullet of an officer using excessive force takes another innocent life away. You do notn’t have to be in the battlefield to support the movement but just educating yourself about the problem can lead to the education of one another.