5 Things to Know About Jamelle Bouie – #4

By China Betita, Creighton Law School Class of 2015

This Thursday, Oct. 9 at 4:00PM, the Creighton 2040 Initiative is proud to present Slate’s Jamelle Bouie.

Leading up to his talk, the Creighton 2040 Initiative blog is posting “5 Things To Know About Jamelle Bouie.” Previously, in #5 – Pop Culture,  we shared some of his non-political/policy interests.

Today, we look at Jamelle’s upbringing and how that shaped some of his views.

#4. Jamelle Bouie - Upbringing
Jamelle grew up in Virginia Beach, a place which he describes as “rural-ish.” Growing up in a military family, he acknowledges that being a military brat formed a part of who he is and how his views might appear to clash with that upbringing.

Another formative experience for Mr. Bouie was the neighborhood he grew up. Describing it as a “completely white neighborhood” that celebrated Lee-Jackson- King day (a Virginia state holiday from 1984 to 2000 that merged the January holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with celebrations of Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson), Mr. Bouie learned how to develop a thick skin when dealing with various racial micro-aggressions that he would face in school:

 “Imagine being a dark-skinned 10-year-old in a very white place: I would just get [made fun of] constantly. After the dozenth time someone turns off the lights in class, turns to all the white kids, and says, ‘Where’s Jamelle? I can’t see him!’  you just find a constructive way to deal with it.”

Experiences such as these taught Mr. Bouie how to deal with the various critics and comments that come from being a writer on the Internet. Mr. Bouie’s ability to deal constructively with these issues, both racial and Internet-related, is one of the many reasons why the 2040 Initiative is excited to have him speak on Thursday!

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