Imagine looking into a box full of crayons, all of the identical color. Your vision is permeated with intense, fiery, red crayons except for one. Hard to miss in the corner of your eye you spot one different, A blue crayon.The blue stands out like a bright sapphire, but it's not the passionate red. You wonder why that crayon is there, it doesn't belong, it's different. But why not?
In society we are conformed into negatively thinking that things that are different do not belong. In today's world it is an aspiration to follow the normalcy of society than to be different. As a third grader I didn't know what it was to be different, and I didn't know what it was to be normal. Most people today still don't know this answer. But I figured out at a young age, I was different, and at the time it wasn't a positive discovery.
When I moved from New York to New Jersey it was a huge change in scenery, from skyscrapers to farms. Though the biggest change I faced was not scenery. It was the first day I was dreadfully dragged to school by mother. When I entered the classroom that's when I realized I was the blue crayon.
Though the African American race is now free from shackles, it is not free of racism. I walked through the doors, the first day of school. I could feel the invisible shackles tightening, that I had not known existed. The warm inviting room left me with chills. It was 2004 but it seems like I had teleported to the 50s. The glaring looks made me uncomfortable. Every pale face was the same, puzzled expressions filled the classroom. Except for mine. Mine was different. My brown petite face tried to hide the embarrassment as the teacher introduced me to the class. Not only was my skin color significantly different than everyone else's but so was my name.
"Hello class this is our new student, Jamirca", he announced.
The puzzles looks around the classroom grew and continued with laughter a couple seconds after. Going home that day from school I felt abnormal. In New York I was exposed with diversity at every corner. Now I was stuck in a classroom where the normal was to be of the caucasian race. Having a mentality of not fitting in affected me monumentally negatively, but grew into a positive experience overtime. During the negative part of my experience, I had grown used to racial slurs that had broken me down. The quote, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", I learned was erroneous. My dreadful experience taught me that words can be more powerful than any physical pain. Words cause the worst kind of pain, emotional pain.
This experience of racism, I have faced no one should have to go through, everyone should be treated equal with respect despite of race, color, religion, etc. But I have matured and learned immensely from this, and it has made and shaped me into who I am today. This made me realize to treat others with respect, despite how they treat you because I know how it feels like to be treated like dirt. The 16 years that I have been blessed with life, more than half those years I was at war with myself. A war that I realized I couldn't win if I let the opinions of those around me become who I was. I have learned that I am glad to be different, because there is no normal and to be different is a gift because there is no one else like you in the universe. I have learned to forgive those who have treated me poorly, because of their lack of knowledge of how it feels to be the minority. I believe that if they knew how it felt like to be in my shoes they would have treated me respectfully, and that's how I've learned to cope with the pain. I have learned to love my myself and my flaws because it's what makes me unique.
I'm still faced with racism to this day but I have realized I am no longer a blue crayon but a human being. Now I am free from the shackles. I have found myself. I am Jamirca Nuesi.
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