“I am a junior majoring in journalism at Howard University. It is completely online this semester. I love learning and now I dread waking up every morning and going to class. There are few things I hate in this world, but I hate online classes. I am just pushing through.
I loved growing up in Mobile and everything about it. I went to St. Paul’s and was the minority. I always felt welcomed and accepted, but I knew in the back of my mind I needed to work extra hard. I never allowed myself to just be Bria, I had to be Bria the Exceptional Black Girl. I had to make the grades and do all of the activities the best. It was a pressure that no one put on me but myself. Black women feel like we always have to carry the torch.
When I went to Howard I was asked crazy things about growing up in Mobile and Alabama. There are so many misperceptions, but I also realized this year that I had been quiet for so long about the real problems I see. During the Black Lives Matter protests, I wrote an essay about being a black woman. It was nervous but it took me out of my shell, even if no one else ever read it. I realized I can write things that matter.
Sometimes I feel lost in what I can do. How does one person make a difference in voting, social justice and change? I have to focus on maybe I can help one person think differently about an issue. We argue too much instead of learning how someone came to their beliefs and conclusions. Ask people why they feel the way they do.
This has been a tough year. Something I worked hard for at school went left. I came home unexpectedly because of the Coronavirus and my stepdad was in the hospital for a month. There were so many changes, and my mental health became a struggle. I am a happy-go-lucky person. I have never had depression and I had to learn how to deal with it and work through the emotions. So many college students are feeling the same way and I am glad people are speaking up about this.
I was nervous to go to Howard and being so far away from home. I didn’t know what I was capable of and I almost transferred several times. I am proud of myself for staying and making it this far. Howard has helped me learn who I am and the power of being a black woman.
I was excited and honored to vote in my first presidential election. I filled out my absentee ballot and almost cried. I want to acknowledge what our ancestors went through for me to have the right to vote. There was so much pride to see not only a female, not only a Howard alumna, but a black woman represented on the ballot for the Vice President of the United States.
My mom is my hero. She can make anyone feel special. She taught me to do what you want to do and be who you are. I wanted to dye my hair pink this summer and she helped me dye it. It turned my hair red and I didn’t like it. My mom said it is just hair, it will grow back out. Then I dyed my hair blue and liked that. With the world telling you to be so many things, it is freeing to have a mother say just be who you are.
This is the start of Bria’s essay Dear America From a Black Woman:
“My name is Bria Scott, I am a 19-year-old student at Howard University, I am a sister to 2, I am a daughter, I have received numerous awards and accomplishments in my life, I have sat down with those from far and wide, famous and otherwise. Regardless of these things I will still be seen as simply and only BLACK.”
Here is the link to the essay: https://bblogs-byourbestself.squarespace.com/home/all-lives-cant-matter-until-black-lives-matter?fbclid=IwAR0wyzdwl8qxSXzoa4YFAqqeBJmvbZx6hODFhp5n3TmOtj3TCvh9dAyi-rw