I am going to start this piece off with something that some people may know and some people probably do not. I am biracial. My father is a white man from Connecticut and my mother is a black woman from Michigan. They both raised me and did an amazing job getting me through life and building me into the man I am today.

I can easily say with full confidence that my both my parents raised me to see both sides of my ethnicity. I am not pigeonholed into one category, but rather I fit into two. Of course, I did things with my black side of the family and my white side of the family and that was completely normal to me. Everything from my pride, values, and the norms in my life were crafted from all the time I spent with them. They taught me that there was nothing wrong with the way I am and that I will look different compared to most people.

Society tried to place me into the one or the other thinking. I was called the n-word on many occasions through being small and being in high school. The other favorite term was "half breed", believe it I was called that a couple of times. I would be the butt of many light-skinned jokes and being told I had to pick a side that I felt more comfortable in. If I would speak proper and not use slang, that was me being too white. If I would eat some fried chicken, that was me being too black. There was really no way in between for the most part. I never tried to claim one of the parts of me that make me who I am. I never strayed away from that.

People reading this will think that is the typical "mixed kid struggles", but these are real struggles that happened to me and I'm sure happens to other mixed kids out there. Being black and white is beautiful to me and I embrace both sides of what makes me. There are features that I have that come from my father and others that came from my mother. I don't place myself in one place anymore. And I am very proud of that.

I found myself through the color of my skin and realized that I don't have to place myself into one part. I am biracial and very proud of everything my parents taught me. My identity is both and I will never try to deny any part of who I am and what makes me. I love the half of me that is white and the other half of me that is black. Find who you are and do not let others make that decision for you is hopefully what those reading this can take from it. Be proud of all of you and I promise you will feel that much better knowing. Stay true to yourself always.