This I Believe

Sarah - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on June 12, 2007

I feel sorry for the children of the Women on today’s show about interracial dating. Her comments about black kids were not only ignorant and hurtful, but further contributed to the stereo types and hatred in our society.

I am 28 year old, Afro American female professional, who attended an inner city school in Richmond Va. The majority of my class mates were well behaved, productive students. Many of which went on schools such as Virginia Tech, Morgan State, Virginia Union and even a few made it to Harvard!

I have no kids, but am recently engaged, invested in my 1st home at 24. I am an inspiring writ er/musician who has played piano since the tender age of 6 and fell in love with the Cello at 12. I love roller-blading and karate and enjoy listing to music that ranges from Soul to Rock to Reggae and Rap and Country. I love traveling and learning of cultures and history not spoken of in text books. And yes, I am Afro American!

I have relatives with professions that range from Politics, Medicine and Education, to those who live check to check and struggle to stay on track with the law.

I recently attended a NEO Soul / Latin concert and my heart flourished at the sight of thousands of Afro Americans with dread locks , kinky f ro’s and natural braids side by side with Caucasians and Latinos. My mind drifted as I was serenaded with the rooted sounds of the Congas and flutes and the holistic idealism that fell from the full lips of it’s proud song birds. The audience teased my eyes as their Afro centric and native American jewelry flirted with the many shades of brown skin, vanilla and cocoa. There were a few gold chains and baggy pants, but no fights. An environment popular in many places like Atlanta and CA, which are more diversed than VA..

Maybe this young lady and others like her, Black and White , have never exposed themselves to anything other than their poverty stricken neighborhoods or the garbage that reflects on BET during peak hours.

Some of my kin folks may stereo type this young lady as poor white trash, living in a trailer park on drugs, none ambitious and racist? Another Stereotype that I also condemn.

Maybe she never popped in an Erica Bad, Floetry, Tracy Chapman or Anthony Hamilton CD? Or visited one of the many places in America and abroad where her stereotypes are just a myth.

Its sad that we were stripped of our heritage 400 years ago and the generational impacts of slavery still exists today. Statistics show that most people stay within the class that they are born,

From the failures of our educational system, to the epidemic of drugs in our neighborhoods. I look at the 1st gangsters in the US during the Bonnie and Clyde and Bootleg alcohol days. The learnings of such destructive criminal activities were not ideals brought from the black slaves in America. But when will the psychological impacts of the damages caused by the inhumanity of American history end?

So, to the young lady and others who insist on continuing to degrade and negatively stereo type any race, I urge you to educate yourself and your children ,expose them to the diversity and beauty of all cultures. Appreciate their roots and individuality and show pride in the blood of your ancestors. From Italians, to Nigerian, to Japanese to Russian to, Irish to Puerto Rican, to Haitian and all in between. We are more than Black and White and Yellow. We all have a heritage that goes far beyond our skin! So take time to learn to love yourself and appreciate our unique and beautiful differences!!! This way of thinking has made my life joyous and and full of spice! What a wonderful world we could live in if everyone took the time to do the same! We are not defined by our bank accounts, race, or status, but our souls within!