While thousands of students walked out of school to demand gun control on Wednesday, some youth were raising important questions about what would truly create safety in their communities. Their words and experiences should serve as a caution to the rest of us not to oversimplify what some young people in the United States are up against.Support from readers provides Truthout with vital funds to keep investigating what mainstream media won't cover. Fund more stories like this by donating now!
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Wednesday's nationwide student walkout occurred one month after 17 students and staff were shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many students left classes for 17 minutes -- one minute for each person murdered in Parkland. But in Alabama some students walked out for 18 minutes to remember another student who was recently killed by gun violence at school: Courtlin Arrington, a 17-year-old African-American student who was shot dead last week at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama, by a fellow student.
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From moviegoers showing up in traditional African garb to Black communities fundraising for private screenings and viewing parties, the release of Black Panther has demonstrated a political consciousness unlike other recent cinematic releases. So when Chicago sixth-grade teacher Tess Raser shared her Wakanda Curriculum on Twitter, it was no surprise that it, too, would be celebrated.
The film, which opened Feb. 16, offers a celebration of Black culture, empowerment, ingenuity and beauty in a fictional African nation unburdened with systemic racism and oppression.
Some students who plan to participate in tomorrow's National School Walkout have been met with threats of significant disciplinary action.