Lakeisha John is African American. She comes from a family of six; four siblings and her parents. Her parents Mr. John Sanders and Mrs. Chantal Sanders were born in the United States. Lakeisha’s grandparents were also born in the United States. Mr. John Sanders is white and his family tree indicates that all the generations before him were born in the United States. Lakeisha’s family tree on her mother’s side is traced back to the slavery period since many of the generations in her family tree were born in the United States. Lakeisha did not directly face the consequences of slavery since she was born decades after slavery ended. Many African Americans can trace their roots back to Africa because many Africans were forcefully brought to the United States and other European Nations during the slavery period.
The Slave trade tore family members apart. Developing nations such as European Nations and the United States needed human labor on their farms and the development of sea transport made it possible to transport slaves from Africa to these countries. Men and women were taken away from their families and sailed away to work on farms for minimal or no pay (Riley, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Mark). Many of the slaves were never reunited with their families and some ended up marrying and starting new families.
Lakeisha was born in the 1980s a period when racial discrimination against blacks was still rampant. Although she had a White father, she faced discrimination just as other blacks. Lakeisha had a difficult time fitting in because she did not know whether to identify as black or white. Her parents gave her the name Lakeisha because they believed that it would fit in with the White American names. All the other siblings were also given names that sounded English and French such as DeAndre, Shaniqua, and Carmello. Over the years, Lakeisha has met many African American people with the same names which is an indication that African Americans embrace their culture.
Lakeisha holds a degree in nursing and she states that her education journey was not so difficult. She and her siblings had the privilege of attending private schools since her father was a flourished businessman. However, she remembers being bullied and picked on in class since she belonged to a minority group. There were only other two students who were African American in her class and this made them easy targets. When she moved to college, the situation was not any different because she once again belonged to the minority group. In college, it was especially difficult for her to fit in since she did not know whether to identify as black or white. Lakeisha states that even when she began working she could sense apprehension in some of the people from the majority race that she worked with.
Lakeisha believes that currently, the rates of discrimination against minority groups have gone down, however, she still states that discrimination is still present in the communities. She hopes that in the future there will be laws and legislation which will protect minority groups from discrimination. She hopes that there will be more schools that can provide quality education to minority groups than there are today. She insists on the importance of protecting young youths from minority groups from the snares of crime and racial profiling.
Riley, Rochelle, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Mark Auslander. The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery. , 2018.