Not content to live with tokenism

Tokenism is being the one black student in a classroom full of white students. It’s being the only Hispanic employee in a predominantly white organization, and it’s when that historically white school or organization says it’s diverse because of that one black or Hispanic student or employee. For me, it’s meant being one of two black students in my class at my Connecticut private elementary school, St. Thomas’s Day School. It’s meant being the only black person in most of my classes at Hopkins School, ranked as one of the top private middle and high schools in the country. I never understood why these private schools in New Haven didn’t have more black students when the city’s black population has been at least 30 percent for decades.…

First Taste of Racism Arrived in 6th Grade

I’ll never forget the first time I experienced blatant racism. It was from a parent at West Woods School. This is the same Hamden school that recently made international news after one of its teachers cast a 10-year-old black student as a slave in a play about colonialism. After living in New Haven and attending private school for three years, my family moved to Hamden, and I was enrolled in West Woods as a fifth-grader. I was also 10 years old. Despite being one of very few black students in my class, I loved it there. I had many friends. We celebrated birthdays together, spent time together outside of the classroom, and often had funny conversations about my crush and classmate, “Ralph.” He was cool.…

Learning about Pride all Month Long

Photo: Middletown Press By Stacy Graham-Hunt I love to take my son on a new adventure on Saturdays. Two Saturdays ago, I decided to take him to Kid City, a children’s museum in Middletown. Little did I know that the city would be celebrating its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender queer/questioning, or LGBT, community that same day. I drove for about 40 minutes on a bright, sunny and clear day, uninterrupted by traffic, while my 21-month-old son slept peacefully in his car seat in the backseat. When we were only 5 minutes away from the museum, the main roads were blocked off with police barricades and a few costumed men and women seemed to be waiting in anticipation of something along the sidewalks.…

Thankful for the Right to Choose a Hard Choice

Getty Images I had an abortion when I was 19 years old. It was the summer after my sophomore year in college. My boyfriend at the time and I were having unprotected sex. I got pregnant. That was 16 years ago. It’s scary to think of what my life would have been like if I was a pregnant teenager living in Alabama now, and was not able to terminate my pregnancy. Earlier this month, Alabama’s governor signed the “Human Life Protection Act,” banning all abortions in the state, except when “abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman.…

Textual Healing Session #3: Death

During Session #3 of Textual Healing, the journaling workshop that I’m facilitating for teens at the New Haven Public Library on Saturdays, we discussed our experiences with death of family members and friends. This particular week, there happened to be more staff members present than students, but it was still a heartfelt and deep session that I think was healing for everyone present. I shared what it was like to watch my grandmother’s one-year journey towards death after her Stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Others shared what it was like to lose their own family members unexpectedly. One participant even shared a story and analysis about death that took place in one of her favorite movies.…

Back to Basics

This website was down for about a month or so because I failed to renew the domain in time. A failure to click a few buttons turned into a $80 hassle and also caused me to have to pull in web designers and all of this crap. Ugh! I didn’t mention it because I was a little embarrassed and mad at myself for being a bit irresponsible with something I claim is so important to me. Although I got the website back up with help from a small group of people, including my dad, (thanks Kevin James Hunt), I felt totally convicted in church on Sunday when Pastor Danny Bland was talking about assignments that God has called us to complete.…