New Video Details Experiences Of Black Students At Brigham Young University

News

PROVO (ABC4 Utah News) – African Americans make up less than one percent of the student population at Brigham Young University and a now black student has made a video about the experiences of black students at BYU. The video is posted on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyx9kpDThh4

Johnisha Demease-Williams grew up in Houston, Texas and calls her year and a half at BYU “culture shock”.

“I didn’t know what I was getting into when I first got here,” Demease-Williams told ABC4 Utah News. “I didn’t know there was going to be about 300 black students out of a population of 33,000 and I didn’t know what I would have to deal with when it came to the environment as in culture.”

The sophomore psychology major says she loves the educational and religious aspects of the school but has had to endure what she calls “ignorant comments”.

“I’ve had someone tell me that they think it’s fun to be racist,” Demease-Williams said. “I have also heard someone say that slavery was good. That we needed it for our economy.”

Johnisha didn’t get mad. She got a camera and created “The Black Student Experience at BYU” a 25 minute video with numerous first hand accounts.

“I remember one time and I said good morning to a girl,” one student recounts on the video. “She literally turned the other way and walked directly past me without saying anything and there was another time when someone literally crossed the street because I was walking in their pathway”.

Another student describes getting incorrectly suspected of shoplifting at the campus bookstore.

“As I’m walking out this lady looked at me strange and said ‘Can I see your pockets right quick?’,” he says. “And I looked at her and I showed it to her and at the same time I felt kind of bad on the inside.”

On Monday the University released a written statement, reading “Brigham Young University is committed to a campus environment that is inclusive, free from discrimination and reflects the backgrounds and values of our student body, where students come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.”

Johnisha says she’s starting this conversation about race because she wants to improve the experience for black students at BYU both now and in the future.

“I just want BYU to be an environment where everyone enjoys their self you know,” Demease-Williams said. “And we don’t have to deal with these things in the far future because we’re addressing them now and we can progress.”

Demease-Williams says she plans to release a second video in February, which is Black History Month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

John Legend PSA

Thumbnail for the video titled "John Legend PSA"

Latest Sports Videos

Jazz dominate Pacers, 118-88

Thumbnail for the video titled "Jazz dominate Pacers, 118-88"

Going Agg Episode 9

Thumbnail for the video titled "Going Agg Episode 9"

Conley returns as Jazz blow out Kings

Thumbnail for the video titled "Conley returns as Jazz blow out Kings"

Jazz 10-game winning streak ends

Thumbnail for the video titled "Jazz 10-game winning streak ends"

Kolby Lee scores 21 in BYU blowout

Thumbnail for the video titled "Kolby Lee scores 21 in BYU blowout"

Jazz beat Brooklyn for 10th straight win

Thumbnail for the video titled "Jazz beat Brooklyn for 10th straight win"
More Sports

Latest News Videos

The rising cost of insulin

Thumbnail for the video titled "The rising cost of insulin"

St. George K-9 “Emma” helps Arizona deputies confiscate 300 pounds of drugs on I-15

Thumbnail for the video titled "St. George K-9 “Emma” helps Arizona deputies confiscate 300 pounds of drugs on I-15"

Video: Inmate punches Hillsborough deputy in the face

Thumbnail for the video titled "Video: Inmate punches Hillsborough deputy in the face"

Gun-rights advocates pick-up trash after protesting peacefully in Richmond

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gun-rights advocates pick-up trash after protesting peacefully in Richmond"

Girl Scout cookie season kicks off this Saturday across Connecticut

Thumbnail for the video titled "Girl Scout cookie season kicks off this Saturday across Connecticut"

Neighbors share sadness after baby's body is found in North Las Vegas dumpster

Thumbnail for the video titled "Neighbors share sadness after baby's body is found in North Las Vegas dumpster"
More Video News

Don't Miss