Minorities Underrepresented in Purcellville Community

Alison Pike, Co-Editor in Chief/Photo Editor

Through the small, cramped halls of Loudoun Valley High School, junior Kyra Wilson would ordinarily walk, swarmed in a wave of white students, feeling singled out because of the color of her skin. 

The population in  Purcellville, is 75.7% white and only 24.3% minorities. As a result, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Indians are underrepresented.

“I strongly believe that minorities are underrepresented in our community,” Wilson said. “I say this because there are only but so many people of color in our community/county and it can be hard to express certain parts of ourselves without being judged and looked at in a bad manner.”

Some students in the community believe that they are represented but are judged differently because of their race. Freshman Kayla Alzamora describes her feelings toward her experiences. 

“Because of our race, we get ‘special treatment.’ The community see’s minorities like they can’t achieve goals so we need to use all the help we can get from other people to achieve in life. But that’s not the thing,” Alzamora said. “We can succeed without the help of others.” 

Throughout the past year, there have been global movements to address issues of racism toward Asian Americans regarding COVID-19. 

Faith Nyugen, an Asian American resident in Purcellville has personally never experienced Covid-induced racism, but “[knowing] that that hate exists out in the world [is] sort of scary,” Nyguen said. 

As the Black Matter Lives Matter movement created more awareness of the African American community regarding police brutality, Wilson became conflicted on her ideology toward the movement and the community.

“Especially with everything that is going on right now for example BLM I never know what to believe because I don’t know what could happen,” Wilson said. 

This summer, the Purcellville community contributed to participating in a Black Lives Matter march through the town. The community has taken steps to address the issue of underrepresenting African Americans and other minorities in Purcellville.

Alzamora and Wilson both believe that change can be made within the community if residents are willing to make a change. 

“I think the community can help minorities feel more represented by including us and having more minorities speak out about their ideas,” Alzamora said. 

Perhaps the most difficult yet rewarding month of the year for Muslims is Ramadan, where they abstain from eating & drinking from sunrise to sunset to empathize with the poor and become closer to Allah (Arabic for God). The Holy month began on April 12th and will end on May 12th, when the New Moon is sighted. Sophomore Sama Raza reflects on experiences during Ramadan as a follower of Islam living in Purcellville.

“People tend to ask me so much about what Ramadan is or why people ‘like me’ wear a Hijab on their head because they don’t see that as much in our community. Constantly, people ask me during Ramadan, ‘not EVEN water,’ because it’s crazy to them that a group of people believe in such ‘crazy’ beliefs,” Raza said. 

Raza believes that for our community to grow together and become more diverse, we need to extend ourselves outside the limits of Purcellville and explore more ethnically diverse communities around us. 

“To ensure that others enrich themselves into different cultures and communities, they should take time to adventure out to places like Maryland or D.C,” Raza said, “where Muslim communities or African American communities are more prominent.”