Looking Deep

Sandra - Maricopa, Arizona
Entered on May 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in looking beyond a person’s skin.

The way I see it life is too short. We grow up in such a fast paced world people rarely take the time to apperciate the true moments that matter.

I am an African immigrant who moved to the United States when I was nine. My family moved the U.S., the land of opportunity, in search for a better life. A life of hope and dreams full of aspirations and change, a chance to start over. This world is so vast and with so many opportunities we rarely look hard enough to see them.

When we first moved to the United States I resided in Baltimore, my first American home. I used to enjoy walking down the street in winter with brick houses and snow covered trees on every side of me. Unused to the environment, I felt for the first time a cold chill giving me goosebumps as I move my hands to close my jacket. My innocence and joy laminated me as I strolled down the street, only to be greeted by stares. This was new to me I looked up at my mother, I had not seen this many white people back home it was strange. Their grave stares as their cold eyes looked at me gave me a sense that I did not belong. I was not like the rest of them, different from Africa filled with people who looked like me. I was unaware that I had to learn to accept that, as I went on to elementary school I tried not to let things such as skin color effect me, that was more difficult than I had anticipated. Standing alone in a class room full of twenty Caucasian kids made me feel uneasy. I would at times fall behind the crowd to be unnoticed; I had been taken out of my element.

Every now and then I look back at how life has changed since I came here. I have learned to accept and appreciate people for who they are, looking beyond the color of their skin as they have for me. It took a while to get their but life gives us change and opportunity to grow and while others choose to ignore this, I grab it by the hand and run with it. Today I have grown into my own skin, I stand proud. I am African and choose not to let my skin define me.

So I believe that though life is short, it is also amazing. It teaches you to grow and learn about who you are. I believe it is not the color of your skin that defines you but rather the character behind it. We should all and look past a race and see who the person truly is.