Personal Narrative: Christmas Day

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Christmas Day 1996, I was born to a Black father and a White mother in California. I had what I thought was the perfect family: two loving parents who provided for me, a younger sibling that I could have fun with, and pets to play with out in the yard. I had friends who I would regularly enjoy the company of. I truly thought I had the perfect life! I had this mindset for the first 10 or 12 years of my life, and nothing drastic had happened to change that. Little did I know, that was about to change. I moved to Northern Michigan when I was 6 years old. Even though I was so young, I knew it was quite different than California. As I reflect on that experience now, I would’ve expected to be greeted with some kind of racial prejudice when I first …show more content…
Instead of moving back to the suburban area where we had previously lived, we moved out to a rural part of the area, hoping to avoid the type of people I had to so much conflict with. We joined a local church that seemed welcoming and open to our family. For the first couple of months, everything was going fine, until a peer of mine used a racial slur against my mother. I quickly defended my mother, and then the slurs changed and were directed at me. I couldn’t believe it! I was back in the same spot that I was in when we lived in the apartment. I was again being called names by people I thought could relate to me and me to them. They were calling me rich, saying that I was stuck up, and even said I had “white privilege” because of my mother. I was constantly teased and bullied, and although I wasn’t getting physically beat up, I felt like I was getting beat up mentally. How could these children, who were in the same age range as I, be so mean and hateful? How could they get away with it? I quickly realized that their attitudes and behaviors had been passed down from their parents. I started to be treated bad by the adults, with one adult even going as far as to start a terrible rumor about me and spread it across the church and the community. I had gotten such a huge wakeup call when it came to the behaviors of the people around me. I, a previously very social and outgoing …show more content…
Even though I became very secluded and self-conscious, I now view that as a defense mechanism that helped me when I was approached by the people who had treated me so wrong. Instead of letting these events affect me negatively, I found ways that I could use my experiences to help others that may be going through the same thing. I joined a leadership group my sophomore year in high school, where I was able to speak about my difficulties and be a mentor to other kids who may be going through something similar to what I experienced. Through speaking about my story and helping others, I saw the positive side of my situation and how it made me the person I am today. Although I would have never dreamed of going through something like this, my struggle made me a stronger person and taught me how to deal with difficult people who may have a specific view of me or my family. Now, even as a college student, I hope to continue to tell my story to others to spread awareness about racism and prejudice. I hope to also show others that they can overcome any barrier that others try to put in their way, and that they can be made stronger by any situation if they choose to look at the positive instead of the

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