Taesha Goode

MY STORIES:

MY BLOG:

I remember sitting on a metrobus in Incheon, South Korea, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, when I came across the body-cam footage of the death of Rayshard Brooks. It was early summer and the air outside was muggy. The sun had already set, leaving a warm, deep, blue sky only offset by twinkling city lights. The bus rocked back and forth; harsh overhead lights flickered. Through an open window, the sounds of a buzzing city commanded attention. Still, I was glued to my phone screen. I watched the video three times, listening to his pleas, cringing at the gunshots that took his life.

Being biracial, I’ve struggled for the majority of my life to accept and love my Black side. As the Black Lives Matter movement in Summer 2020 began to gain momentum nationally, and later globally, I made the decision that self-love was no longer something I would await but seek out. Although I’d always been aware of lingering scars in Black communities, and empathized greatly with them, I didn’t allow myself the same compassion. It took being confronted with injustice for me to learn my own worth and, in turn, join in creating meaningful change. Thus far, writing has been the only way I know how to do that.

Investigating and reporting on the African American beat has been eye-opening. I’ve been given the opportunity to sit down with activists, businesswomen, families, and community pillars, all of whom have provided me with new pieces to the puzzle. I felt that the most firmly when a 9-year-old girl explained to me the importance of loving your Blackness. The sensitivity of this beat, amid waves of racial tension in the U.S., is not lost on me, and has only made how I share people’s stories that much more significant to me.

From the point of view of a writer, I’ve learned the difficulty in being raw with your writing. During the pandemic, it’s been much harder to get inspired. Sitting down in front of my computer, I’ve found that many times, stories don’t flow from my fingertips the way they did before. Though writing has been romanticized as this beautiful process where you just allow your thoughts to spill over onto a blank page, when you’re low on thoughts, it feels near impossible to create. When covering such a heavy beat, the way we write our stories is the difference between educating someone and allowing that chance to slip away. Though I’ve had trouble with gathering inspiration from the world around me, my interviewees’ activism and work in the community has been a source of little sparks of passion, and that passion has left me longing to produce.

For me, there’s no option in ending my involvement with this beat. Though, in the past, I’ve allowed my Blackness to take a backseat, I’ve had many harsh reminders of the state of the world. Being Black is a part of my identity, and one I will continue to nurture. I want to stay active and spread love in my community. I want to teach those who want to learn, and I want to support those who need it most. In the future, I hope to write more stories on Black activism, what it looks like, and where it can take us.

As the bus rolled to a stop, and I took my first few steps into the glowing night, I felt lost. But clarity has never been easy to find. Even now, I still feel as if I’m miles away. What’s become clear to me, however, is that there is peace in the journey.

ABOUT ME:

Taesha Goode is a mixed-race, Turkish-American immigrant to the United States. Having lived in Germany, the U.S., and South Korea during her university years, Taesha has always been passionate about understanding the experiences of those different from her. It has been her goal for the past three years to document and write about these experiences in a refreshing and engaging way.

Her favorite author and inspiration in writing is Haruki Murakami. In 2018, Taesha began attending the University of Utah Asia Campus as a psychology major. In 2019, after reading Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore,” she switched her major to communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Since 2020, Taesha has been writing mainly about the African American beat, with the majority of her work published on the Songdo Chronicle. In the future, she hopes to maintain her work in this community, as well as attend a graduate school in the Washington, D.C., area for journalism or creative writing.

Taesha will graduate from the University of Utah in December 2021, with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.