May 23, 2020
A 9-year-old girl goes for a morning drive with her family in her hometown in Texas. It’s a loving family outing until the car rolls to a stop in compliance with the red light. The area they are in is rather conservative; being an interracial family is no surprise to them, yet it seems to shock other residents. They hear the screech of brakes as the truck next to them comes to a stop. A red light is not something a child should stress about, yet Brooklyn Branson’s eyes widen as she sees the Confederate flag waving high from the truck’s bed.
The light flashes green and the truck driver glances at the Bransons with no care in the world. Yet, this exact moment will be something that Branson remembers for the rest of her life. The stretch of road following the light spans a vast bridge. As the cars pick up speed, the truck seems to be drifting into Branson’s lane. When this happens in most cases, a honk will educate the driver on their accidental lane change, but the Bransons know this is no accident. The truck comes closer and closer to the Bransons and starts to push their car. It becomes very clear to Brooklyn that the truck is trying to push their car off the bridge. Push their family off the bridge. Just because of the color of their skin.
Brooklyn, who is now a sophomore at Sage Creek, deals with racism on a common basis and even feels uncomfortable attending school. She feels isolated being the only African American student in her class every day. She faces racism every single day but has grown from her experiences and encouragement from her progressive family. Her mother has received backlash from her choice in marriage and was treated differently just because her husband was black. When Brooklyn first heard about the Arbery shooting, her father was the one who broke the horrifying news. They both were very emotional but Brooklyn soon realized the big picture.
“If it wasn’t Ahmaud, it was just gonna be another black man… It could’ve been my father,” stated Branson.