This is my first year at Westtown School. I am a proud Christian who goes to church and worships God. At my church we sing, dance, cry, and mostly make noise! I am comfortable in this environment because in my culture, we recognize that God deserves all the praise. This is a strong aspect of the African American experience. Through religion, I am constantly learning more about my history and my present.
Then I came to Westtown. Everyone at Westtown was so free and loose, I became afraid to share that I was Christian. I thought people wouldn’t like me because of my religion. The school welcomes all religions, but in sharing about my Christian religion, I would become even more of a minority. Most people at Westtown are spiritual, atheist, or agnostic. While I am not one to shove my religion onto others, I became worried they wouldn’t like me. I became worried they thought that I was going to whip out the Holy Bible, read scriptures, and throw holy water at them. There are many stereotypes about Christians. I was also afraid that people would make fun of and mock me because I am a Black Christian—you know, the good old stomping-on-the-ground, screaming “hallelujah” kind—or that people would say we are “ghetto” and wear “extreme” clothes.
I am used to people assuming things about me that are quite offensive. However, as my knowledge of Quakerism developed, I found a sense of comfort. I like that Quakerism holds a spot for community. This made me realize that no matter what people think, I am apart of this diverse community. I can live life, be Christian, and have friends all in one. The people that make up Westtown today have formed this sense of community, and I feel more comfortable to be myself and express my religion. I like that the SPICES all relate to the world in huge way and that people who follow them are choosing to contribute to a better world. Quakerism has the power to change the world, and as a full-time Christian, I am on board to help!