Imani Walton is a student at Dominican High School. I chose to interview Imani because she has a brilliant presence whenever she enters a room. There’s just an unidentifiable mystic about her. So to put it simply, I knew nothing about her and really wanted to know more. Imani is smart as well as kind but will chew you up and spit you out. She is a natural athlete with a passion for track and a more than exceptional human being. I asked her a random compilation of questions resulted in the following:
Q: So you were born here correct?
Imani: No I was born in Portland Virginia. I moved here when I was 3’ish 4’ish.
Q; Do you have any memories or experiences of Portland? ‘
Imani: No not really.
Q: What was your childhood like?
Imani: It was fine. I grew up with a dad but he’s in the navy, so it was just me my mom and my brother. We used to go to the movies and go skating every weekend. I used to go everywhere. It was fun.
Q:What was it like to have your dad in the navy?
Imani: With me being young I didn’t really think too much of it. I’m like: Okay he just working” but as I’m getting older I start to miss him. I still see him often I see him like three times a year so…
Q; What was the hardest thing you’ve ever been through in your life?
Imani: With my mom getting a new husband and this stepdad situation definetly me and my brother trying to get along with having a step dad. I don’t know if you know how that whole stepfather stuff work so me and my brother being close her bringing a new man. It was like: who are you? Why are you here? And my brother has an attitude just like me ten times worse. Yeah so that’s that.
Q: What does it mean to be a black woman?
Imani: To be a black woman? Well of course there’s thing to live up to because of our ancestors and stuff, how they came up. They’ve done things for us, so that kind of makes me feel like I have to do something and make a change low-key.
Q: What are some important ideals to you?
Imani: Be yourself, make a good first impression and how you act around people.
Q: What people do you aspire to or look up to.
Imani: I don’t really look up to nobody but If I was to look up to somebody it would be someone who has actually made a huge impact or someone who has made a big change on this world and is continuing to do it not just doing one thing and stopping. Someone who has an ongoing record of making a change
Q: What is your religion and your views on it?
Imani: I am a Christian I go to a missionary Baptist church and me like being 15 and just beginning to understand stuff I’m getting a grasp of it of course I’m a firm believer, but I feel like church is hypocritical.
Q: Do you believe in love why or why not?
Imani: Yes, and no it depends on what kind of love and who for. Familywise I believe in that but I feel like it’s something that’s expected something that you’ve known since you’ve come out the womb. But of course that love can be lost in the snap of a finger. Significant other wise ehhh… maybe.
Q: Who or what do you feel most connected to in life?
Imani: Even though we don’t see each other very often of course my dad because of course I’m a daddy’s girl so. You put us two together we’re the funniest people you will ever know, and like our attitudes are similar. It’s some friends that I’m like tight with that I can vent to and tell them anything. My other go to is music. It’s what I listen to when I’m happy, sad, anything. I grew up around a lot of music so I listen to hip-hop I’m an oldie at heart. When my mom got with my stepdad I was like seven and he’s a gospel singer his family is a group. So gospel is a part of my life.
Q: What are your pastimes
Imani: Well I play basketball of course cheerleading and track. Now track is my favorite. When I’m bored I can draw I can somewhat draw. I can dance. I sing on the down low. I sing but at the same time I don’t sing so…
Q: Why do you love track
Imani: ok first off I started running when I was like six before I didn’t even know track exist. My mom wanted me to do it so me and my brother got into it. And track is a family thing like my uncles a track coach. When you start off doing something young you grow to love it. It becomes a part of you.
Q: What are your deepest thoughts?
Imani: How would life be without some particular things. Without technology without books and stuff.
Q: Do you ever catch yourself wanting to live in the past
Imani: Yes. Sometimes I feel like our generation has it easy. It might sound weird but I want to low-key live back when it was slavery so I could see how it was what it was like. In the past people of our color were in shackles and punished just because of our color. Now we can just walk freely and while we are still pursued for our race it just feels like we have it easy.
Q: What is the best experience of your life?
Imani: Just living as a whole. Even my bad times. Me losing friends. Going through stuff. I learned from that. Everything.
photo by Imani Walton