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Black History Month Voices: Armon Wilson | Commentary

During February, Maryland residents are commemorating Black History Month by studying and celebrating the past. Meanwhile, what’s being called the racial reckoning of 2020 is barely in the rearview mirror. Those recent events — Black people killed by police and marches demanding systemic change — are prompting some Baltimore-area residents to explore what needs to be done to ensure there is substantial progress toward achieving racial justice and equity.

The Baltimore Sun asked residents: What will it take to move the region ahead in 2021 and beyond? Specifically what do they want to change, and how will they help make those changes happen? Each week this month, we will share some of their comments about how they hope to move forward after a tumultuous 2020.

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The essays have been edited for clarity and length.

Armon Wilson, 19, Columbia resident, security guard, hopeful future police officer

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Armon Wilson, a 19-year-old Columbia resident who hopes to eventually become a police officer, says if you can want racial equity and racial justice, you have to work for it.
Armon Wilson, a 19-year-old Columbia resident who hopes to eventually become a police officer, says if you can want racial equity and racial justice, you have to work for it. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

After everything that happened in 2020, what needs to happen now is reform.

We were raising awareness and asking that it happen. Now it’s time that it happens. You can say you want racial equity and racial justice, but you actually have to act on it.

I want to see more dialogue between the police and the community. Everyone wants to be heard, but not everyone wants to listen.

As an African American, being part of a community that’s not served as well as it should be, especially by the police, I could make sure that people of color and African Americans are served better, if I were a police officer.

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— Compiled by Ana Faguy

Read more Black History Month Voices essays

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