"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom" -Aristotle

In every situation, there is always a reason. The reasons could be an overcoming victory or a reminder of who you are. At a very young age, I've encountered a very deprecating situation that tested my character and my integrity, and my self-esteem. My best friend and I have a close relationship. We've been best friends since the 6th grade. During high school, I discovered a secret that my best friend kept for many years. I discovered that her family doesn't favor me as her friend, due to the color of my skin. The only reason her family tolerates me is that of my Caribbean heritage.

During that situation, I've faced sadness and confusion. Pondering about the possibilities that I will face many problems like this one because I'm black. I also thought that people would like my personality. People would describe me as a funny and sweet person, yet people look at the exterior, not the interior. As a teenager, I thought that racism was demolished, and the world was becoming a better place, however, facing that type of reality was very hard, and there are still people in society that still do not favor colored people.

Throughout the negativity that tried to attack my personality, I decided not to take in the negativity of somebody that doesn't like me, because of my physical appearances. It taught me that, I'm here with a plan and a purpose. It doesn't matter what the color of my skin was.

"The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness"-Marcus Garvey

As I go deeper into my culture, I realized that the historical figures who have faced adversity through racism, I can face the obstacles of being an African American. Today, African Americans work twice as hard to succeed in their dreams. Yet, why should I be afraid? I should learn to dust myself off, move forward, and not have a big ego. I should always remember where I come from, and where my destination will be. Just because I have dark skin, doesn't mean I should have a dark future.

My inspiration comes from Maya Angelou. She faced many adversities such as rape, teenage pregnancy, and of course racism. She didn't speak from seven years, yet she was willing to learn how to read and write through books. Her situation didn't stop her from reaching her destination. She was never ashamed of where she came from, nor her struggles. She rose up to each occasion and survived with excellence. Looking at her life, inspires me to be twice as better, not only because I'm black, because I know I can do anything I put my mind to with no regrets. It doesn't matter if I have a different physical appearance to everyone, the only thing that mattered was reminding myself, and anyone else who tried to attack my confidence who I am.