By Malaysia Walker, TEAP-MS Advocacy Coordinator

One thing that really captured my attention was the Perception panel of the exhibit. It stated that “African American youth in our community is a generation that seems as though they WANT TO BE HEARD but no one is listening to the cry.” This is such a powerful statement that expresses the pain of youth in the Sunflower County community. Similarly, it expresses the pain felt in other areas of our society.

Just like these young men of Sunflower County, the transgender and gender non-conforming community have the same desire - an opportunity to be heard! The negative connotations placed on black males can be compared to the same societal ideas of trans/GNC people.

Whether through law enforcement, legislation, or the misinformed, trans/GNC people face harsher and more harmful discrimination than any other people in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Queer) spectrum. Huffington Post wrote that the black man is no longer invisible in America, but a moving target. Transgender women of color are often seen as the same. Out of 14 murders of transgender persons this year, twelve have been trans women of color.

The R.O.O.T.S. exhibit brings to the forefront those biases and calls your attention to how perception plays a role in narrative change.