Last year, Chenoa Alamu, a talented violinist from the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, started a podcast called Black, White, and in Color, to speak about social issues, spirituality, and relationships. I had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with her about why she chooses to be vocal about what she is passionate about.
When asked what her inspiration was for creating her podcast, she said, “I just felt like people wanted to talk about issues that seem to have us divided as a country, it just seemed like the right time to have a platform where people can hear my viewpoint on it, maybe be a way to educate people as well, because not everyone feels safe, or comfortable, or even courageous enough to share their feelings about things.”
“I try to be a bridge, I really do, I want to be a bridge, because I do see both sides,” she said.
Alamu has published 19 episodes so far, each being an eye opening discussion about an issue or concept. She explains the historical significance of racism and why racial justice will only be effective if white people join the fight.
“So I believe for those people with white skin, they’ve been given this legacy, whether they realize it or not, whether they like it or not, this is what they’ve been left with. Just like people with african descent, particularly black americans, have been left with a slave legacy. Whether we were there or not, obviously we were not there, but there are issues we are still dealing with as a result,” Alamu said.
With all of the humanitarian crises and injustices that occur in our world every day, Alamu encourages young people to break away from the expected narrative and speak out for what they believe in.
“Find where you fit, because I do believe there is a place for everyone to fit. I do believe the media wants to push a particular narrative, and everyone depending on your skin color, if you’re black for example, you’re supposed to feel this way, you’re supposed to have the exact same experiences,” she said.
Despite these issues, Alamu offers some advice to young people who want to bring awareness to social issues but are afraid or don’t know where to start.
“Have conversations with your friends and your family, because not everyone feels comfortable with a social media platform or a more public out in the open platform. Just start with “Hey have you ever thought about why this is happening, and what do you remember about what you were taught about black or white people,” Alamu said.
Change can be brought about by people who are vocal about their beliefs, and Alamu emphasizes this fact.
“Start at home, because that is one major way it continues to be perpetuated, is what’s being taught or allowed at home, so I would say start there,” Alamu said