"Because I’m Black" by Kenny Egbuonu '21 appeared in Angles/2018, a collection of the best writing from MIT's intro writing courses in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing Program. Egbuonu wrote the memoir essay for an assignment in Course 21W.022.
Because he’s black. And with that, everything I worked for is diminished to nothing. All the late nights I spent devoting myself to my AP classes as opposed to hanging out with friends become irrelevant. All the hours I put into striking a balance between getting good grades, dedicating myself to my extracurriculars, and maintaining an active social life are written off as wasted. It hasn’t been easy. There were moments when I doubted my ability to have all three, but somehow, I managed. It was all in vain, though. Apparently, the color of my skin gave me a pass regardless of these factors.
About the Author
Kenny Egbuonu is a member of the class of 2021 and plans to major in course 7A as a premed. He was born to Nigerian immigrants in Arlington, TX. Kenny lived in Arlington for 5 years before moving to Grand Prairie, TX (read: Dallas, TX, for people unfamiliar with Texas), where he has lived ever since. On campus, he is involved with his fraternity, Nu Delta, as well as DanceTroupe, NSBE, BSU, ASA, and the MIT BoSTEM Scholars Academy. Additionally, he is a lector for the Tech Catholic Community. He believes LeBron James is the GOAT (greatest of all time) and it's not close. He would like readers of this piece to know that tapping into his memory was the most difficult part of the writing process; once that was accomplished the words started to flow.