As nationwide protests in the United States continue, conversations about racial inequity have come into the forefront. And many are reminded of experiences from our not-so-distant past — like Dr. Ayim Darkeh and his mother, Shirley, who moved to Westbury on Long Island, New York in the 1970s. 

When Ayim started attending elementary school, he was one of a handful of Black students in a predominantly white school. 

Ayim and his mother had a conversation over StoryCorps Connect to talk about the discrimination Ayim faced as a child, and how that’s shaped his approach to parenting.

Content Warning: this story contains some offensive language.

Top Photo: Shirly Darkeh and Ayim Darkeh at Shirly’s 85th birthday celebration at a church on Long Island, NY in 2019. Courtesy of Ayim Darkeh.
Bottom Photo: Ayim Darkeh and his children at their Brooklyn home in 2019. Courtesy of Ayim Darkeh.

Originally aired August 28, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.