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This I Believe - Episode 6

GHS author Jasmine Day
Jasmine Day is a junior at Guilderland High School. She enjoys music, gymnastics, and spending time with friends and family. This piece is a representation and reflection of her past, present, and future.

This I Believe

By Jasmine Day

Brown skin the dominant gene

Light and dark faces, some looking mean

Minority is the race that lacks numbers

Which has left me quite a few things to wonder

I have been left to ponder many thoughts

Force never needed in battles I’ve fought

Fists can hurt. But words cut deeper

I keep looking forward because I am a dream seeker

I have been misunderstood

If only they were able to see that then maybe they would, they could, they should

Treat me always like I deserve

They wouldn’t look or say things that get on my last nerve

We are the same being, slightly different shades

I am so proud of the person I am and that feeling will never fade

Frustrated is the thought of the racially uneducated

Due to this I have been underestimated

And I have taken the time and even contemplated

Things that have been thrown upon me

I have then translated and found “their” weakness

I now waste no time, they cause me no stress

Ever since I have entered school I have been dark skin amongst a class of light. I’ve questioned my parents probably a hand full of times why I didn’t look like everyone else. I had no problem with my skin I just wondered why I looked different. As I grew up I became more comfortable, more accepting of who I was. My parents instilled in me that I was a strong African American young woman and that I should allow no one to take my strength away. I came to believe what they were saying was true. No longer would I let my peers put me down for being the person I was, at this point my strength really couldn’t be taken away. As I became more comfortable with who I was, I guess the people around me became more comfortable too. As you become closer with someone it seems like less of a big deal to ask personal questions, but not question meant to offend. Such questions were asked too often. I just became exhausted. Exhausted with the fact that those around me were meaning to make me feel as if I could never amount to what they were. So I became someone who preferred to brush things off that I no longer want to deal with. But sometimes that was and still is really hard for me. Words to me cut deeper below the surface. A bruise could hurt for a week but words stay engrained within my head. It’s just hard for me to forget.

It is easy to accept others assumptions as facts. And for this reason it is so easy to judge and be judged. I have been judged a countless number of times for the way that I speak. I have gotten “why do you talk white?” I was unaware that I was able to speak like an entire race. That question never ceases to bring out others’ ignorance. I speak well; I speak properly, because I am educated not because of the color of my skin. Race will not ever define the person that I am. I believe actions are not colors. This I believe.


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