It’s Time For Communal Accountability

Rebekah Adams, Class of 2021
Princeton Tory

Excerpt: In 2020, it is bold for me to contend that the majority of White Americans are not racist and that the majority of Black Americans are not victims of systemic or overt racism. As we craft solutions to heal the scars from slavery and segregationist policies, much of the effort depends upon institutions to reconstruct their policies and provide support systems for underprivileged minorities. However, I question the substance of many of the oft-offered solutions. I have always wondered how we recognize individual Black Americans, both in the past and present, who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. George Washington Carver was an American agricultural scientist who promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion, Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and became one of the most affluent Black abolitionist and statesman, Dr. Mae Jemison served in the Peace Corps and was the first Black female astronaut, and beloved Princeton professor Toni Morrison was a prolific novelist and essayist. In spite of the odds, they succeeded. But how was that so? If society is absolutely systematically against Black Americans, how did they succeed? I believe the problem is the broken culture of many Black Americans, which has been perpetuated by several factors.