In the wake of the events in Ferguson, MO this morning I recalled a class I took at UIC called, 'Black Image in the White Mind'.
It was one of the most fascinating, passionate, and memorable classes that I attended in college.
Our class was made up of almost exactly half white people and half black people. There were a few students of other races as well.
The topics we discussed spurred passionate conversations, arguments, and at times, resulted in tears.
Some black students said they had experienced racial profiling when they tried to hail a cab. Some cab drivers would pass them up and pick up a white person right in front of them. One black male student said when he walked around campus at night he noticed women would pull their purses closer to them or even cross the street.
These things have never happened to me and I can only imagine what it would feel like to be profiled.
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and my experiences with black people were very limited. My graduating class had 4 or 5 black students out of 250.
The University of Illinois-Chicago is a very diverse school and a wide array of races were represented on my dorm-room floor. I am very happy that I made the decision to go to UIC because I feel like I have a better perspective and understanding of different cultures.
Here's hoping the events in Ferguson can help to address areas of the U.S. where police brutality and racial profiling is taking place.