Iyana grew up in Southeast Washington, DC. She likes to dance and listen to any type of music. Her favorite subject is math and science. She plans to go to college to become a pediatrician. Her piece in Our Lives Matter was difficult to write, but she wanted to tell about her life and her dreams.
BOOKS BY IYANA
2015 INDIEFAB Finalist: YA Nonfiction Book of the Year
2015 INDIEFAB Finalist: Child Author Book of the Year
Proceeds from book sales go to a Ballou HS scholarship fund and to empower new authors.
Through the course of a historic year of civil unrest and the emergence of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, thirty teen writers from Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, DC came together to take part in this national conversation about race, inequality, violence, and justice. Through their powerful, personal stories these writers intend to Change the Narrative about youth of color. We are not thugs, they say. We are not victims. We are big sisters and sports stars, academic strivers and everyday heroes. We speak out for justice. We dream big dreams. These writers want more for themselves, more for their community, more for their generation. And they are challenging their readers to listen, and to recognize in each story a common humanity worthy of dignity, support, and respect. This riot of voices must be heard.
See! This book right here demonstrates how a movement should be constructed. Instead of focusing on the negative people within a community who often times get the publicity for their actions, it's best to demonstrate to others, especially minorities and those of low economic status, that there are individuals out there who are trying their best to change their outcome. Our lives matter showed me, a fellow African, that there are kids in inner cities who are going against the status quo of doing or selling drugs, getting pregnant or just not caring about life. It was refreshing and sad to see that some of these teens had to grow up quickly because of their parents and their situations.
The common theme through “Our Lives Matter” is one of hope and determination. These teenagers refuse to be judged and pigeonholed, offering their stories to emphasize their differences, their commonalities, their dreams and their commitment to education and change. Through it all forms a thread of hope that the new generation will make the world a better place and fight the barriers that keep us separated.
Mini essays by a bunch of high school students about their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and pasts. Highly enjoyable read, and very timely too.