Elijah Black: Being a Part of Something Bigger
I’m an African-American from the Chicagoland area. I started playing lacrosse in the fifth grade. I was sleeping over a friend’s house, and he had a practice the next morning. He was like, “Want to come?” I was like, “I don’t really know what lacrosse is.” He was like, “That’s fine. I’ll give you some gear. You can come with me and practice a little bit.” I enjoyed it. Put on the gear, enjoyed playing it and it went from there.
In fifth grade, we were just running around having fun. There were no differences we saw then. We were 9 and 10 years old. Things definitely changed between then and now.
I was down at a tournament with my high school team, and I saw a DM on Instagram and Twitter [about Nation United]. When I joined that team, I just felt instantly part of something bigger. Everybody on the same team was striving for the same purpose. I felt instantly connected with those guys. Our bond on and off the field instantly clicked.
In the Chicagoland area, all the high schools I’ve played at, I’ve noticed three other black kids, including Dami [Oladunmoye] who plays at Grayslake. There’s Najee [Taylor], who’s at Loyola. And Rondel Jamison, who went to Carmel Catholic. Those are the only kids I can pull off the top of my head. My high school team [at St. Viator], I’m the only black kid on the team. There’s always that feeling in the back of my head where I’m just kind of separated. There’s a boundary between me and everyone else on the team, culture and friendship-wise.
Read the full article at: uslaxmagazine.com