Spotlight: Black History Month, Cassie Torrisi interviews Keegen Hodges

Cassie Torrisi contributes to The Voice of Freeport kicking off a Spotlight Series for Black History Month

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Today’s Black History Month Spotlight features Keegen Hodges, a member of Freeport High School’s graduating class of 2020. I am really excited about today’s “Spotlight,” as I have heard nothing but kind things said about him. I am so honored to introduce Keegen Hodges. Keegen was a very involved member of Freeport High School’s athletic programs, having participated in both football and wrestling. Keegen now attends Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he continues his love for the game of football. Keegen is pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with dreams of working for the NFL one day.

When I asked Keegen what Black History Month means to him, he explained that “Black History Month is the one month out of the year where we all intensely focus on the accomplishments that Black men and women have done for this country.”

I also asked him what he wishes Americans, who are not Black, better understood. He responded, “Black Americans do so many things for our country that go unnoticed, purely based on the color of their skin.”

One question that I have been really interested in hearing responses to is, “Where do we, as a society, need to go from here?” I asked Keegen what steps we all need to take in order to ensure equality for all. “We just need to be treated [as] equals,” Keegen simply exclaimed.

Keegen explained that he has faced racial discrimnation in doing things as simple as walking into a store. He noted that people have looked at him differently or watched his movements more intensely, simply based upon the color of his skin.

I think everyone could benefit in learning a few things from Keegen Hodges. He is a brilliant young man who is on track to lead a successful life. Thank you for sharing your story Keegen and I wish nothing but the best for you!

Cassie Torrisi is a Freeport High School and Illinois State University alumna. She revived her bachelors degree in psychology and is now pursuing a masters in social work.”