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Black high school student told: ‘Go back to Africa’


Several residents in Torrance have reportedly registered their displeasure over a video showing a group of teenage girls hurling a racial epithet while laughing. According to CBS News, the video in question was recorded five years ago. But the footage was recently shared among South High School students.

“It really hurt me first seeing that it was an African-American leading them on to say it, which makes everybody think that it’s OK,” South High School junior Jayla Lewis said about the video. Lewis added that on Oct. 24, the video was sent to a Black classmate with offensive texts that read, “You don’t fit in with the rest of us” and “go back to Africa.”

Lewis said the incident brought back memories of a personal experience in the 8th grade. “I experienced two boys telling me to go back to Africa and pick cotton with my ancestors,” Lewis recalled.

Lewis claimed the boys involved in that incident weren’t punished. The junior added that with that being the case, the chances of the girls being held accountable are also slim. Lewis said a majority of them are currently seniors who hold leadership roles in the school’s Associated Student Body and sports.

Blacks constitute 3% of South High’s student population. In the wake of the recent incident, most of them say they have reservations about returning to school.

This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA,

#StopAAPIHate, #CaliforniaForAll