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November 2020: Daizha Johnson

Nov 5, 2020 | Spotlights | 0 comments

SPOTLIGHT

 

 Name: Daizha Johnson 

 School: The Ohio state University   

Year: Sophomore

Major: Music – Piano Performance 

Orgs: NAACP, National Honors Society, Sky 

 

Personal Bio:

I’m currently 20 years of age now and growing up wasn’t easy in the slightest. I’ve been through  a lot, seen a lot, and the result is now I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety. I was never  the popular kid , more like the nerd who everyone was okay with when they needed something.  Always the busy bee, doing something to remain productive and “successful”, but was never  truly allowed to experience the outside world. I think because of this, it shaped me into who I am now: an activist, environmentalist and spiritualist of the highest caliber. I’m a  friend to many and a bright hearted soul trying to see the world be better and feel better.

It’s never a  great feeling to have your voice silenced. To have your emotions hidden and repressed at the fear you’ll be seen as someone you’re not, when really you just need someone to talk to. It’s never a good feeling to feel alone. That’s why I do what I do, to speak for those who cannot. To cry and shout for those who are bound to whatever it may be. I am resilient, a uniquely undefined unrefined individual who strives not just for the betterment of myself from within but, the betterment of the community around me, the world itself. 

How would you describe the blk community on your campus?

Truthfully I would describe  it just as the outside world but a little better. See in the outside world there are subdivisions of  black people. There’s blacks as a whole, which turn into blacks who are white washed or wish to be white, which doubles over to intelligent blacks who would rather be around white people and  intelligent blacks who actually share the knowledge with their community. Of course on the other  side you have not so educated blacks, drug addicts, gang bangers ect. On campus it’s kind of  like that but better.

Some of the community is wholeheartedly and snobbishly whitewashed.  They will say it themselves “I don’t like black…” (insert whatever it may be for the person’s situation ). Be it black women, black men, the black community, oh yea…it’s all there. Then of  course there’s the educated blacks on campus who put others down because they don’t know  something (I’ve actually met some of these types of people and it wasn’t pleasant). Then you have the others who keep to themselves, but over the vast majority I would say,  especially since this quarantine started at least try to stay together. Hell truthfully the only time  I’ve seen the entire 1% of the black OSU population (that’s actual facts by the way) was this huge  party on the middle of the oval. But it was night time. Everyone comes out at night but never the day. Why, well that’s for your own opinions and observations .

A good portion of my  acquaintances within the Bosu group chat all say the same thing. “Y’know…the black  community is never this put together. Let’s keep it this way. Let’s continue to build this  community upright because it needs it.” This in response to protest and deaths ect. But the black community on campus actually stood their ground together and it was a shock. Now it’s  about keeping that same energy. All the way through and forever. 

What do they need? What do they want?

It’s so hard to say because we all want different  things and yet the same things overall . Everyone wants to be treated better. To not feel like the  “token” among the majority. They want to feel safe but also understood. They want to feel as  though they can be themselves and not have to deal with the double consciousness that comes  from hanging and being around different groups of people. To be seen and heard because there is  racism inside if OSU, and this isn’t just talking about the kids now but the teachers as well. Don’t  get me wrong ,Not trying to put down the school but it happens more than you’d think. They want to be better recognized and represented. This I know because the population of the  black community are in fact underrepresented. It hurts y’know, having to fight for a voice.  Having to fight to be seen. We want the same opportunities that others have. We want to  graduate and be leaders of the community, make something of ourselves. That’s really what it  all boils down t

How has your school responded to these needs and wants?

From what I’ve seen and  observed there are sluggish and really unthoughtful responses happening from administration.  There are things here and there they try to do to make the community feel better but especially  since the racial divide of the century has been happening, there are definitely undertones of  separation. Being a part of the NAACP, I’ve been to a couple of meetings and I remember once  there was actually a sit in because of something campus related. It turned out so well and many  allies were there with us. But the thing is, we shouldn’t have to protest or shout or sit in or  demand equality on campus. It should already be there, but still there is work being done. Both  behind the scenes and around them.

What have you done to improve the student life of black students on your campus?

In my sophomore year, my ankles are deep in the waters of social change and activism. I’m  a part of the NAACP chapter on campus which strives on the daily to make campus a safer and  better place for people of colour. We’ve held events, been a part of protests and held our opinions  in front of OSU administration. I try to be a part of any black occurrence on campus, be it tables,  business, community outreach, volunteerism ect, but In doing this it’s not entirely for me. A good  friend of mine who I met my freshman year who no longer attends OSU taught me many lessons  but the greatest one was to always be there to feed the mouths of others, in turn your cup will overflow with blessings. He’s a true black panther indeed. From this I carry an overflowing cup  for everyone as best I can. If they need support I will help. If they need food I will help. Anything I can do to make the black population on campus a little better, a little safer, more family  oriented then that’s what I will do. 

Why did you choose to attend a PWI over a HBCU? 

I didn’t actually. It was more of a  pressure thing from family. When I was a child I talked about going to OSU because I saw how  wonderful it was. Everything that could come out of it. But then…my attention turned to better  schools. And by better I mean schools that had more of my interest. There was one an hour  away from my home that I heavily considered but because of my relationship with my family I  declined the offer. I just couldn’t see myself leaving them behind. When I told my father I was  thinking of going to another school however, he pushed and said “you were accepted to the best  school in America. Why would you possibly wanna go anywhere else”.

On top of this…hearing  from my mother how proud he was of me, and how much he smiled at the thought of his oldest  daughter attending OSU I just couldn’t bring myself to disappoint him like that. So…with stride I  came to OSU but y’know what I’m not mad about it. I don’t have regrets about it either. I believe  strongly in fate and destiny. If it was in the universe for me to not attend OSU I wouldn’t have made it in the first place. I wouldn’t be here typing this now. So there’s a reason. There’s always  a reason, and for whatever that reason may be, one thing is for sure. I’m a first generation Ohio  state buckeye, I’m black, I’m educated, and I’m proud. So no matter what is thrown my way I will  take it head on, for my parents, my grandparents, my ancestors, and me. 

What is your PWI Survival Guide Tip?

Just be yourself. No matter what.

When we fall into  the standard of double consciousness we lose ourselves. (And believe me it’s too easy) We begin to play into what society controls and conditions us to be as opposed to who we really are.  We win some, we lose some, but at the end of the day you are you. And do you want to go  home crying and stressed because you feel misunderstood, angry at the world. Or, do you want  to go home smiling because you know that you’re making the world A better place by simply  being yourself. By not falling into that sad box of conformity. By not falling for the idea that you  can only be one thing.  

If white people can be doctors and scientists, then We strive for better. Be an astronaut, hell be  the president if you want to. The only limits you have are the ones you’ve created for yourself.  Don’t forget that. 

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