The Black Experience

Learn the experience of being a young black woman in America through the eyes of sophomore, Bama Akpo.


By Camdyen Tate, Staff Photographer

The black experience is not an easy one. It’s not something that can be easily put into words. 

Growing up as a young black girl has its ups and downs. It’s hard to grow up in a society where everyone has already made up their mind about you simply based on skin color, stereotypes, and prejudices. Having to act a certain way around certain people to avoid getting called things like “ghetto” or “uneducated,” it’s overwhelming.

“My experience as a black young woman in America is not an easy one. Every day you find out things about yourself and society and you have to balance them. Compared to others in society being a young black woman isn’t the best but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Bama Akpo, sophomore, said.

The black experience is a constant inner battle. Repeatedly having to ask yourself “but do they like black girls” when you find someone attractive. Growing up black is having to dig deep to find that self-love and appreciation despite society not being on your side. 

“Although I try my best to not let situations on racism or sexism shape me while growing up in America, they did. At a young age I adopted the mindset that I will not be pretty enough or feminine enough, honestly because of the simple fact that I was a black girl,” Akpo said. 

Daily experiences, big or small, can hinder growth, but “build character.” It’s difficult trying to keep a level head and stay grounded through constant judgment and mistreatment.

“Even though I have grown and mostly changed that mindset it still affects me today. I still have those moments where those thoughts linger,” Akpo said.

The long journey of self-discovery it takes to finally be at peace with yourself. To be able to look in the mirror and not only enjoy what you see but be proud of what you see, it takes time. 

“But I am everything I want to be.”