Society: A BLM Q&A with Tavieon Neasman


For the black community, the fight for equality is not a foreign one, being persistent throughout multiple centuries. As particular events of blatant racism have been brought to the outraged eye of the public, different organizations have sprung up, fighting for the same cause. 

Starting off as a hashtag on twitter mourning the death of George Zimmerman, the Black Lives Matter Movement has been well underway since 2013. After multiple instances of police brutality this summer through the form of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the BLM movement fought its way to the top. Proud supporters of this movement are making sure the spirit does not die out as each conquers the pillars of racism that this country has been built upon. 

Today, we had the pleasure of getting first-hand statements off teen Taveion Neasman, on what it’s like growing up in such a rocky social and political environment. 

  • Growing up, have you ever felt like you were discriminated against due to your race? 

Growing up, I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of people who resembled me. So it was easy to feel out of place, considering that my skin color was different than everyone else’s. One kid actually said that she couldn’t be friends with me simply because I was black, which is something a kid just doesn’t understand. 

  • Did you ever feel the need to act differently from your peers to break stereotypes?

 Yes! There seems to be this stigma surrounding people of color not being able to achieve the things white people can. So I constantly find myself needing to prove myself and my intelligence due to the stereotypes that are sadly in this world. Throughout my whole life, people have always told me that I don’t “act black”. This is really degrading to me and other people of color who are told this on a daily basis as it belittles our worth. 

  • Do you believe that there is racism present within the black community? 

Undoubtedly. The United States is still a racist country, giving an unfair advantage to those who were born a lighter skin tone. Denying that there is racism present in our country is doing little to help the black community, which I found many people doing. Racism is not an argument whether one thinks it’s present in this country or not. Coming from someone in the black community, I can clearly tell you that there IS racism and there needs to be change.

  • The BLM movement has been extremely amplified over the course of this summer. Do you believe that these matters should have been talked about consistently throughout the years, or 2020 was the right social climate to bring injustices into light? 

Firstly I think it’s amazing that BLM is finally getting the recognition that it deserves and needed for so long. Police brutality has been occurring for years, and I think when the world heard about George Floyd, it was the breaking point. I think that 2020 is the year for change. This is the year that we become educated about racism, support people of color, and work towards equality. 

  • Do you believe that concerns towards the nearing election played a role in riling up people’s emotions towards the BLM movement?

There is a clear divide between the candidates. One believes that Black lives matter while the other does not. This has definitely caused a rile up of emotion because how can one lead our country if they do not support a movement of equality? We need change and I urge everyone to vote, as racism will keep happening without it.

  • What are your thoughts on the white savior complex and do you believe that all allies display this to some extent?

It all depends on the certain situations in my opinion. If you are going to help someone out of the kindness of your heart then that’s one thing, but if you are helping them for personal gain then that’s where the issue arises. White savior complexes have been a hot topic recently, especially amongst celebrities, where they are using African children for the sole purpose to produce a good reputation for themselves. It all really depends on intention, whether you’re helping people of color or if you are really helping yourself. 

  • Do you feel like the media exploits the perpetuation of black culture and how so? 

In some cases, yes, I do think the media exploits the perpetuation of black culture. The media will portray black people as criminals and degrade black culture even to this day. This has done nothing but harm to the black community as it fuels the harmful stereotypes that are already present in this country. However, there are great media sources such as BET which accurately portrays black culture and celebrates it. 

  • How you do believe people can educate themselves and be more respectful towards multiple races and ethnicities.

The first step to educating yourself on certain topics is to go into it with an open mind. Actually listen to what others have to say and think about things from other people’s perspective. Realize how other people may feel before making a comment and think about what you post online. People of color have been fighting for equality for centuries and we need support more than ever to spark change. This is not a political debate anymore, this is human rights.