13-Year-Old Virginia Student, Za’Khari Waddy, Pens Open Letter About Racial Abuse

Za’Khari Waddy

Za’Khari Waddy turns 14 this December.

Even though he is only in the 8th grade at Tabb Middle School in Yorktown, Virginia, he has already experienced a lifetime’s worth of racism from white students at his school.

In the wake of a nationwide conversation about racism on college campuses sparked by the University of Missouri, younger African American students, in elementary and middle school, often lack the social networks to bring viral attention to the horrendous discrimination they face.

Za’Khari is a tremendous young man — a scholar-athlete, he stays on the honor roll and is a leader on his football team. For years, now, though, he says he has faced constant racism in school.

“Ever since we’ve moved to this area my son has been faced with racism,” Za’Khari’s mother Zettrona Powell said in a letter to the school. “He’s been asked if he was going to rape or rob a young lady, he’s been pushed into lockers and called a n—-r on numerous occasions.”

According to Ms. Powell, both she and Za’Khari have consistently reported this racism — but nothing substantive has been done to stop it.

Finally, on Oct. 27, riding on a school bus to Tabb after an away game, Za’Khari says a white student said horrifically racist things to him. For he and his mother, this was a breaking point.

Za’Khari penned this devastating open letter that he sent to his school and asked us to publish.

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Source: New York Daily News | Shaun King