Destini Perkins

May 23, 2020

Senior Destini Perkins grew up in Carlsbad and two summers ago spent the majority of her time going on job interviews. She was a good student and was willing to work hard; there seemed to be no reason for her to be turned down one after the other. This is the moment she realized that her curly hair was not the “silk pressed” straight hair that most businesses wanted. This is the moment she realized the color of her skin was the reason she was being denied so often.

“Racism STILL exists,” Perkins said.

Destini Perkins sits with her father in her early years. Perkins father gave her several words of encouragement that has furthered her activism. (Photo Courtesy of Destini Perkins)

The Arbery shooting left her in a mundane state. There was no shock because an event like this didn’t need one: It was as common as the evening news. The only difference in this case was that the shooters were still on the loose, and it seemed like the entire world was paying attention. Social media was spammed with posts with the overall message that Ahmaud Arbery deserves justice. Soon after Arbery’s shooters were charged with murder, the youth generation was expressing a certain level of acknowledgment and enlightenment to the current events surrounding racism. A spotlight had been shown on the injustices, which brought an overwhelming amount of joy to Perkins.

At three years old, Perkins knew what the word “racism” meant. The definition was the weird looks she would receive in public. From this point, she knew she was a minority but it became more apparent as soon as she arrived at her high school years. She knew that at this point she could no longer be herself without receiving comments from her peers like “you must like hot Cheetos and wear hoops right? Because it’s the ratchet black girl starter pack.” and “Is your dad in Africa?” Comments like these empowered Perkins to join BSU as a sophomore and has increased her passion for becoming a race ambassador. She now resides as BSU’s president and educates others on the beautiful color of their skin. But Perkins always has a phrase that her father once told her in the back of her mind.

“You have to work twice as hard to get half of what they have.”

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