It was a rainy dark morning as my mother drove me to the bus stop on the first day of middle school. I was excited about riding a new bus and not having to sit in assign seating with kindergartners. Bus 315 is where my new life would begin; I was entering the sixth grade and sharing the bus with high school students. However, there were not many students on our bus so the route went to middle school first, then to the high school. That thought of actually talking to someone older than me for a change instead of trying to sleep through the singing of “The Wheels on the Bus” was exciting. Meanwhile my mother pulled the car to the bus stop and my daydreaming ended; the yellow bus was pulling up with the 315 in black. I got out of the car and walked towards the bus; I found an empty seat in the third row and got next to the window. As other people were still getting on I looked around to see if I noticed some familiar faces. There was this browned skin boy in the back talking about everyone getting on the bus while the people sitting down where laughing loudly. I quickly turned around assuming I could be his next target. I started to look at myself to see what he could say about me besides my dark blue corduroy pants and my high ponytails to figure he did not have much to say so I was safe. I was wrong as he yelled out to look at that “chocolate chip girl in the third row.” The bus filled with laughter and I knew that the joke was no longer on the girl with the mix- matched socks, but now on me. I was the laughing topic for a week straight, with a new joke everyday. As time progressed my mother began to ask me what happened to my spunk from the first day and I just shrugged my shoulders and went into the room. That was the first time reality set in that I was not just an African American but one of a different skin tone, a darker tone that was not a hot topic. I had to build my self-esteem up and be proud of who I was regardless of what people would say. Since I was not the average girl on the television and magazines, society did not know how to respond to women of my skin tone. Along with my different skin tone was courage and strength that made me into the beautiful black women today. So what do I believe, I believe that we are all different and beautiful for a reason, and it may take someone else to laugh at you to realize it or you know it from the start. Either way you have to make yourself a hot topic and create a different look for what the norm is in society. So I’m proud to be an African American but I’m more proud to be the chocolate chip in society. I would like to thank the brown skin boy on the bus, because not only did he tell me in high school that he had a crush on me since middle school, but he made me appreciate the skin I’m in.
Witney - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on March 26, 2009
Copyright © 2005-2017 This I Believe, Inc., all rights reserved. Please contact This I Believe, Inc., regarding reprints and permissions requests at http://thisibelieve.org/contact/.