By Stephanie Younger •
My painting in Art 180‘s gallery called “Everything is Connected” is about both the racism I experienced within the gun violence prevention community. The different colors represent the emotions I felt throughout the time I faced online harassment, and this piece has allowed me to express my frustration with my voice being marginalized in this movement.
When Black youth, especially Black girls speak out about issues that disproportionately affect us, such as gun violence, we’re often expected to show up for people who marginalize our voices. We’re placed at the back of movements for gun violence prevention, and when we bring up how racism plays a factor in this injustice, we’re accused of being “angry,” accused of “clashing/attacking other people” and “not exchanging our opinions peacefully.” When I say that, I speak from personal experiences.
One day, I hope to live in a world where Black girls aren’t harassed on the internet and robbed of our innocence when we speak out about issues such as police brutality and other forms of gun violence as a whole.
Stephanie Younger is a 16-year-old who advocates for womanism and the abolition of youth prisons.