Humans of Grandview: Tiyanna Russell

“I play softball. I throw during track and field. My favorite class, I would say... would be gourmet foods. 

I’m African-American. My culture is from Africa. 

I’ve felt racism, especially at Grandview. My first year here, I experienced my first white boy saying the N-word and I did react badly. But I guess it’s become normalized at this school. You hear it all day, every day from white folk, but that’s okay because I guess I gotta get over it. I got to, as a black person, learn how to deal with that.

I think the hardest part about my life is my coming up. My parents aren’t really involved in my life, so I have to adjust and try and be grateful for what I have. I find it’s hard sometimes to be grateful for a life I’m given when it’s not the best thing. 

All my friends tell me when they first met me, they thought I was mean. I’m not mean. I’m the most loving person. I’ll play around with you and stuff, but in reality, I’m there for my people. You here for me, I’m there for you. Period. 

I guess you can say I’m proud of just being me. A lot of people, especially in high school, struggle with being themselves. I guess this year, I’ve come out of that shell. Like not caring about what people think about me. And this year, I’m just Tiyanna. Like, forget everyone else and their opinions.”

Information and photo by: Sophia Vertido

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