Our History class here at Project RISE is taught by Mr. N. Lherisson. Within this class we explore topics far from the beaten path our regular history classes trod. We venture into topics a little closer to home such as current affairs or history that usually goes untaught. Recently we have been discussing racism and the Black Lives Matter movement both of which are extremely touchy topics, but Mr. Lherisson seems to always make valid points. During one of our many discussions about racism we spoke about how African Americans have been enslaved for longer than we have been free and how racism was almost built into the foundations of America. In light of the recent police officer caused deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile there has been tension within this class and across the nation and the Black Lives Matter movement has become a household topic. Our most recent assignment was to read a letter that an uncle, in the mid 20th century, was writing to his nephew about not conforming with the white man. It was a heartfelt letter that is still relevant today. This assignment shows importance because of how long ago it was written and how little the circumstances have changed. I wrote a poem that was inspired by some of the discussions from our history class.
It All Starts With One
I’d like to tell you that all black lives matter
We need love not hate and a little less of the latter
Fact of the matter is that racism is a disease
One that’s been passed down from generation to generation almost with ease
And if we don’t free ourselves from this mental captivity, what will change?
We’ll age and everything would have remained the same
It all starts with one
I had a dream that one day color will not be seen
And my brothers and sisters will not be deemed as target practice
But it all starts with one
I’d like to clean up these streets before my time expires
I’d like to knock down towers of hate and build empires of love
This is my cry, this is my plead because my children will be roaming this earth
And I don’t want them to have to bleed out their love on this world only for their efforts to be in vain
It all starts with one
By: Alyesha (Group1)
Aly has been a student of RISE for the past five summers, and is going into the 10th grade. She is originally from Jamaica; and believe that project RISE has helped her most in the development of her social skills.
Project RISE provides students with education, self-esteem, self empowerment, and youth leadership. We serve the Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Roslindale, South Boston, and South End areas of Boston. Our program focuses on low-income males and females between the ages of 8 and 17.
Project RISE is part of Thayer Academy.