In honor of Black History Month, we are featuring Black, African, and African American identifying members of the Breck School community for our Meet a Mustang interviews. We’ll begin with the Tufaa family, who started at Breck in 2010. We are so thankful they are a part of the Breck community!
How many years have you been at Breck and what is/are your current grade level(s)?
We have been at Breck as a family for ten years. Nuurasuu '20 came in third grade in 2010, and Furii and Dammee are lifers who started in 2011 and 2013. Nuurasuu is currently a freshman studying International Affairs at George Washington University, Furii is an eighth grader, and Dammee is in sixth grade. We also have a cousin, Milkesso, who joined Breck in 2018 as a first grader, he is now in fourth grade.
Why are you proud to be Black?
Blackness is a form of beauty in and of itself. Our society trains us to think that we are anything but beautiful. This negative notion forces one to be secluded when it comes to their racial identity. This is evident through a lot of black children who go to schools like Breck, spaces where they aren’t reflected in their teachers, administration, and even curriculum. Simply existing as a black person in this country forces you to become resilient. You are forced to learn how to adapt to environments that aren’t meant for you to exist in. These situations push the black child specifically to neglect their racial or ethnic identity. However, there comes a point later in life when the black child realizes that their blackness is a superpower. And it is at this moment that they’re unstoppable.
What is one way you and your family connect with your Black and/or African heritage?
One way we connect to our African heritage is our language. We are very recent immigrants from Ethiopia. At home, we speak Afaan Oromo. We as parents have impressed on our children the importance of being aware of our roots and heritage. Speaking Afaan Oromo is a way to maintain that sense of heritage.
From a student perspective, what is it about Breck that you enjoy most?
We enjoy our friends the most. We are thankful to Breck for connecting us to our friends. We also appreciate the high quality education we gain from going to Breck.
What do you hope others will understand about what it means to be Black?
When we talk about race at Breck, it is mainly about the oppression Black people have faced in this country for the past 400+ years. And that’s valid. However, like stated before, our blackness is our superpower. Black people run the wave everywhere. Look at social media, look at the music industry, look at sports. Black culture is the backbone of American culture itself. Look at Michael Jackson and Prince, Kanye West, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Muhammed Ali. These people revolutionized their respective fields in major ways. They’re waverunners. They connected with the masses. We hope that others don’t see blackness as a curse, but as a blessing.
From a parent perspective, what set Breck apart when choosing an education for your children? Or Why Breck?
As parents, we believe that Breck provides our kids with a quality college preparatory education, And, most importantly, Breck continues to teach our children how to maintain outstanding character.
What is a meaningful experience you have had at Breck?
[Nuurasuu] A meaningful experience I’ve had at Breck was going to Camp Icaghowan. It was nice to get away in nature without our phones and get to know new people through a lot of fun activities.
Thank you to the Tufaa family for sharing this week!