In all honesty, I’m not really phased by the fact that there are so few black people in my cohort. At the age of 15 I switched from a predominantly black public high school to a private high school where you could count the black people on one hand, or more accurately on a couple of fingers. It was during these years where I was challenged most in trying to acclimatize myself to what would become my new normal. As I progressed throughout my education, I had to come to terms with the fact that the higher the institution and or more prestigious the program the less I’d see people who look like me. It’s quite sad when you think about it. It’s almost as if the education system is a filtration device, whereby the higher black people attempt to climb the quicker we are filtered out until there are barely any of us left.
Nevertheless, I never let this phenomenon discourage me or cause me to question whether I deserved to be where I was. I have my parents to thank for that. My mother, a McGill alumnus, had endured the same situation while completing her undergrad at McGill. Growing up, my parents made sure that I never felt like I was lesser than anyone. I take pride in being who I am—in being black. And while I take this pride with me into law school, at times, I fear that this may not be enough come time to join the workforce. As such, it is imperative that us black people who have endured and survived the filtration process watch out for and most importantly support one another. My hope is that as we excel and succeed in our various professions we, like my mother, can lay the foundations for those who will eventually walk the same steps that we would have walked and will think the same thoughts that we would have thought.