Calvin Burns (CB) and Stepheni Bellamy (SB)
CB: Growing up in school I was usually the only black kid, and a lot of times I did feel left out. It was really tough, but I think it made me stronger being the outsider.
SB: I can relate because going to high school there’s not people just like me. There’s mostly just white people.
CB: How does that make you feel being the only person there like that?
SB: Sometimes it’s kind of hard because like in history when we’re talking about slavery or something a whole bunch of people will turn and look at me. It makes me like say, ‘Yeah, I know, I’m black’.
Have you ever been called the n-word?
CB: I, I’ve definitely been called that. And I think back to the time when me and my friends that’s when we were like twelve years old and some guys in a truck drove close to us, and I could remember the guy saying “Whoop there it is niggers.” And the guys almost ran us over and we were pretty upset.
Have you ever been called that word before?
SB: Yeah just recently somebody called me that word, and some people like say go “Go back to Africa” or something like that.
CB: This is not stuff I was aware of. I didn’t know that kids like that existed at your school. Phoni I want you to know that you’re not what they’ve been told you’re like. It just, it’s kind of heart aching to think about the stuff that I went through and you’re still going through those same things.
I want you to know that if you ever feel scared or if these sort of things happen in the future I’m always there for you to talk to me about them.
SB: I don’t know I just never really like to talk about myself or things that I go through.
CB: So do you think that by not talking about it that it’s going to get better?
SB: Mmm no, probably not.
CB: I think that you’ve done more talking today than you have in the last 12 months.
CB: I really thank you for coming here with me and getting outside your comfort zone and I hope that we can have more conversations like this in the future.
I love you.
SB: Love you, too.