From the Brigade Commander


Growing up I didn’t see anything but a black little girl. I grew up hearing: “Can I touch your hair?” “Have you always been that dark or did you just get darker?” “Your favorite foods must be fried chicken and watermelon.” Now I am grown and am facing a challenge much harder than what I am ready for. That challenge sounds simple: being a dark skinned woman. I did not use black, I am not black. I am not a color. I am a person. I am a person whose skin is dark. Therein lies the struggle: walking into a room and seeing that no one looks like you;  stopping communications with someone that you like because you found out their family is racist; being a member of a society that claims to be improving racism while simultaneously upholding racist policies in the bureaucracy of government.

I did not choose the way I look, however, I do not let the way the world views me to act as an obstacle. I hold my head up high, even when I stumble. Iappreciate everything for which I have slaved and that which has been given to me, albeit the latter is the smaller of the two possessions. I am the highest ranking officer at my school and many other students look up to me.  Persistence and steadfast determination have afforded me this opportunity.  In this position, what has been given to me is a sense of ownership of myself and of the impact I have on other people.  The path on which I continue to march forward will bring me success, happiness, and a continuance of the struggles from which I can never escape.  I can embrace this struggle, these challenges, and move the world towards a new direction of acceptance for people that are dark skinned but light hearted, as I am.