Black on campus: A love letter to ourselves

“To our brothers and sisters who have bravely shared their stories with us, we are not only behind you. We are standing beside you.”

Last year, a Black man was racially profiled on this campus while minding his own business.

It was during a conference, Congress to be specific. The theme was Circles of Conversation, but all conversation stopped when the RCMP showed up.

He was racially profiled not for any wrongdoing — but because for those who found it hard to see past his Blackness, he did not belong.

“How do you feel?”

“Are you shocked, surprised, horrified?”

We weren’t.

For those who persist and resist on this campus, it is a permanent footnote at the bottom of our academic journeys. It is baked into every time we hear the N-word and stay quiet, lacing into the manner in which we freeze when we feel an unsuspecting hand paw at our hair, bracing for the looks and stares we garner as we exist in a space not meant for us.

And so this supplement is a love letter to the struggles we as Black students, faculty and educators have on this campus, but it is also a celebration of our power and history.

To our brothers and sisters who have bravely shared their stories with us, we are not only behind you. We are standing beside you.

Carrying torches lit by our ancestors, waiting to pass it on for generations to come.

— UBC Black Student Union Co-President Danielle Olusanya and member Will Shelling

This supplement is just the beginning. Throughout the month, we will be posting your stories and we want to hear from you! If you are interested email d.olusanya@ubyssey.ca