Current Events

While I am here in Prague, Czech Republic, things in the United States have not stopped… and it would be ignorant to think that they would simply because I was here, not matter how badly I want them to.

My heart is swollen in confusion on how to feel:

  1. June 17, 2015: Charleston Church Shooting, 9 dead
  2. June 26, 2015: Gay Marriage Legal in all 50 States
  3. June 17- June 28: Over 6 Black Churches by Arsonists in the South
  4. June 30: I am made aware of threats of my brother’s life.
    • Black on black crime
  5. July 2: My Aunt/ Godmother Kathy passed away.

The one positive amongst this list is a really significant one for the course that my life will take now having the privilege to marry whomever I chose. The legalization of same-sex marriage makes me feel: bubbly, hopeful, thankful, all of these positive things, but at the same time, I am conflicted.

I am a pansexual, Black woman, meaning I am in many ways an “other,” usually offered and sometimes treated as “less than.” In all the ways I can be targeted and discriminated against, my race proves to be the most common of my three major identities. Thus, same-sex marriage is great, but a large part of my identity is suffering.

Not only are Black Americans being killed, their churches burned, and their faiths tested, I am not in the States able to fully mourn the reality. The helplessness I often feel when I am home and a racist act of hate occurs is tripled by me being here, thousands of miles away having the experience of a lifetime. This reality causes a huge pit of guilt to sit in my stomach, loss of appetite and words.

I really wish I had more to say, but I am rendered numb, mute, immobile. My tears say enough now, and may my words that are soon to come effect change tomorrow… (is what Blacks said 50-100 years ago). All I can do is hope and try to learn something while away these next weeks that will aid me in promoting positive change to someone or something… eventually.



Ja'Lisha, a Creative Writing major with a minor in Black Studies, is studying Summer 2015 at Charles University. This is her second study abroad experience, with her first being in Cardiff, Wales in Fall 2013. She is thrilled to have another opportunity to study abroad and this time she plans to document as much of it as possible.

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