The Black Experience in the Northland: FDLTCC Men’s Basketball Team

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As Black History Month continues, the discussion of finding a way to improve the challenges that people in the black community face switches gears to ‘creating unlimited opportunities for people to relocate, settle down and call the ‘Northland’ home.

WDIO wants to give black people the opportunity to let their voices be heard in the Northland. Our series called ‘The Black Experience in the Northland’ gives the community that opportunity.

Last week, we talked with Diona Johnson about feeling wanted, loved, and supported can be easy when you feel like there is space for you. Whether that at work, school, or in your community.

Related Story: The Black Experience in the Northland with Diona Johnson

Creating unlimited opportunities and having support are values in a community to create a place for people to relocate, settle down and call the ‘Northland’ home. People of color come to the Northland but wind up leaving because there are not enough opportunities or reasoning to stay.

There are thousands of students that come and attend college in the Northland. Some of them are student-athletes. A lot of these students come from all parts of the United States. At Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, members of the Men’s Basketball team hail from Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, and beyond.

The fellas have felt supported by not only their school but also by the community. Guard/Forward Ian Green talked about everybody in the area looking out for the guys on the team.

“You can tell that they are genuine about what they are doing. They do not just do it to do it. They do it because they care about you as a person,” says Green. They want you to be safe. If you would have told me back home that these people were going to help me out, I wouldn’t have ever thought about it twice. Now, that really makes a big difference when you are 2,000 miles away from home. You got people you can rely on, and it makes a big difference.”

When the surrounding community takes you in as their own, it’s like you belong to a part of the area; it starts to feel like a second home. The thought of staying around after college isn’t a bad idea for some people. For others, that option depends on many factors.

"Offering different things for people to do and adapting to a new area. More activities and more tourist-type things to do. More vibes! I feel like it would be more people here and willing to stay," said some of the basketball players. Besides more activities, being supported by those in the community that you are in is a factor that can keep people from not wanting to settle down.

"I think for a person of color moving from where you were coming from, it should be unlimited opportunities to get into any field you want to; and not just boxed into, says Green. I have to do this even though that is not what I came here to do, and it is not what I want to do anyway. But like I have to because this is where I’m at, and I have to conform to this society."

Providing the necessary means for black people in the communities to feel unlimited opportunities and feel supported is a goal that continues to be a goal to make people of color feel want to stay or relocate and settle down in the Northland.