Embracing Diversity

Dia - Trinity, Florida
Entered on February 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Embracing Diversity

“What am I?”

“You are black.”

“But black is a color, not a race.”

In my fourth grade multicultural class, the question of my true identity clouded my vision with every passing moment. Every other kid in my class had an exotic background, like Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, and everything in between. And I was just the black girl; matter – of- fact, the only black girl. There was nothing to it, I was black, and that’s all. The thing that hurt most was that I wasn’t noticed as a smart, funny, outgoing, friendly, little girl. I was just perceived as black.

I believe in embracing diversity. As a teen growing up in the twenty-first century, I have realized that people can be cruel. Teens create cliques that are harder to get in, than it is to get in upscale clubs. And if I’m not in a clique, then I’m not cool. I know that I don’t belong in a clique, because I can stand on my own. I don’t need other people to validate me and what I stand for and represent. Usually, I am the only black person, let alone, black female in any of my advanced classes. Being as it is, I have to make friends whether they are black, white, yellow, or brown. It’s expected of me to only associate with the teens that look like me, but that’s not who I am. I have my own style and don’t do what others do. For example, I’ll wear skinny jeans, a Rocawear shirt, high heels, and a scarf, if that’s how I feel. I don’t believe that just because the stereotype for black people is “ghetto” that I have to dress or act that way just to fit in.

I believe that instead of telling someone that they can’t be around me because we don’t share the same background, I will accept them for who they are and what they represent. Over the years, I have learned to embrace the many different cultures of the humankind. With that, I can go into the world with an open mind; accepting all, and not excluding any. Hopefully, the world will catch on to the trend, This I Believe.