What sparked the creation of your blog?
As young people we play an important role in politics, but a somewhat passive one. I originally started the blog because I felt my community, like many others of it’s kind, was being misrepresented. Exhausted of feeling defenseless, I set out on an initiative to clarify what was/and still is being held from skeptics about communities like Harlem, when judging a topic you must view it holistically or your viewpoint will usually yield inaccurate conclusions. One of the reasons inner city low-income communities are inaccurately critiqued, is because there is a lack of representation, unfortunately because of biased institutions and unequal distribution of resources most of Harlem’s youth are degraded to the confines of their neighborhoods. When creating my Blog I vowed that I would not allow my community to be rendered defenseless, that I would be the teller of truths, the driving force of change, and that I would be testament to the gritted ability that lies in the Youth, here in Harlem.
What contributions did your upbringing have on your persona when writing?
If asked I would say my persona when writing derives from my family, where I grew up, but mostly my own innate abilities. There are traits that come across in my writing that people tell me I was born with, and others are a product of where and how I grew up. People have attributed me as being a caring, intelligent, fearlessly strong minded individual. I was exposed early on to incidences of mistreatment in my personal life, and it always came natural that I took more offense when it was done to another defenseless person or group, than myself. I was very firm in my beliefs and didn’t feel threatened when I should have. As in this one case when me and my cousin and his friends were playing basketball on a court when these older guys came and told us to get off, everyone else got off while I stayed in and protested that we had rights to play because we were there before them, meanwhile these guys were tall and strong running down the court in my direction, I stood right in their course as if nothing could intimidate or harm me. I would come home rambling to my Mom about instances of discrimination and why it was unacceptable, she noted my passion and encouraged me of the possibility of me making a career of it in the future. My family in its competitive nature would test our fearlessness by tasking us with exercises that took mental strength, no obstacle had ever made me fear which they explained was crucial because of its translation to real life. Soon after I was on the Debate team in Junior high I began to be more critical of our government and develop ideas of how certain conflicts could be solved. It always felt right that I use the resonance of my voice in it’s glory to defend the vulnerable, this was what led to me being an activist.
– Jalen Guichardo