This I Believe

Janell - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on April 23, 2007

Do you like chocolate, dark chocolate, or vanilla? It’s a rhetorical question. If we’re talking about candy I prefer chocolate, but if were talking about the skin I’m in, then I love my dark chocolate complexion. When I was young I was a chocolate complexion, but something happened along the way, and now I’m a dark chocolate complexion. You may think how is this important? Well it’s very important to me. My skin tells stories of hundreds of years of pain, suffering, but also good times. I wasn’t always proud of my dark chocolate complexion. At times I was ashamed of who I was. I wished I could be like the other kids around me, with their straight blonde hair and their blue eyes. I hated my nappy hair, or kinky as some would call it, my body. I hated everything about me.

I remember in elementary school, I wouldn’t want to take broadcasting as one of my electives because I would have to go on television. I didn’t want to go on television because I was afraid that I wouldn’t show up on the television. It’s pretty silly now that I look back at it, but it was a reality. Kids will tease you because you don’t look the same as them .I would try to stay along the sidelines, to stay away from the racist eyes. I would also try to be friends with everyone so they wouldn’t pick on me. Even now that shyness stays with me. Not only did my dark chocolate skin give the right to kids to tease me but it also gave people the right to think I’m a criminal. Have you ever walked into a store and have a clerk follow you? I have plenty of times-just because people have their set

paradigms. They think just because I’m dark chocolate that I’m going to rob them or that my life goal is to be in a gang. I know but, they don’t, that one day I want to be a lawyer, go to college, really do something with my life, but all they can see is my dark chocolate skin.

I am a descendant of those who knew the unimaginable. I’m beautiful, I have an inner beauty and outer beauty that can never be bought or destroyed. Now that I’m more secure with my dark chocolate skin, you can’t keep a camera away from me. Although my friends talk and say there caramel and red, I’m proud to say that I’m dark chocolate with nappy hair. I love myself no matter what skin I’m in because my skin and I are tight til the end. And the skin I’m in is DARK CHOCOLATE and I love it. This I Believe.