2020, the broken year.
Since the pandemic started, I’ve been really scared. Because of what I was seeing in the news, I thought there was a chance that I could lose my life. Back in March, we were supposed to go to Los Angeles on a school day for an audition, and I didn’t know that the day before would be the last day I went to school. I didn’t know it would be the last time that I got to see my friends in person.
It was stressful doing school from my apartment. The country was under a lot of pressure, and it didn’t feel like anyone was making us feel better about it.
If you thought things could not get any worse, they did.
People are getting killed because of the color of their skin by police officers who are supposed to be protecting us. But, as Will Smith pointed out back in 2016: “It isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”
I was lucky to be in a movie called “The Hate U Give.” Movies are usually fictional, but it’s crazy to see that story coming to life. “The Hate U Give” is very sad movie and the fact that it has become reality is very upsetting. Everything that is happening is so surreal.
People are protesting for justice for George and Ahmad and Breonna and many others just like actors did in “The Hate U Give” for Khalil. We shouldn’t have to protest the right for our lives. We have to protest for justice because, if not, then this will continue to happen and there will be no consequences for these actions.
I still have hope for the future.
I feel like this is a reset and things will get better in the future if we continue to protest for justice because there are so many things people can do from their homes or out in public. Attend a protest, sign petitions, inform others about the incidents and how they can help out, donate to social justice charities, buy stuff from Black-owned businesses, read articles and books on how to not be racist.
The most important thing is to spread love to everyone.
This is an excerpt from an essay I wrote in 2018 after “The Hate U Give” premiered. It’s about love, and I feel like it needs to be shared now…
One day there was something there bigger than all forces, but nobody could see it. It was infinite but not all people received it. This force is called LOVE! Love is something that spreads through galaxies, something that can only be destroyed by three negative forces: greed, hate, and disappointment. These three forces can spread in less than a minute by simple actions, but love can too.
One other person you should remember to give love to is yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, then it’s nearly impossible for anyone to love you. A way to use love: Don’t make people feel guilty about past mistakes, don’t try to set other people straight; it’s their job to go at their own pace, so don’t force it. Love is something that will just click.
TJ isn’t the only one putting pen to paper! Earlier this week, “This Is Us” star Lonnie Chavis opened up about the real and raw reality of racism in this self-written essay.