I keep seeing stuff that says “Not my President” and “Not my America” but the truth is this is my America. It became my America when my ancestors were brought on a bought from Africa and forced to build a new world. It became my America when my ancestors lands were stolen and turned into factories. It became my America when my Ancestors sold all of their possessions to get on a boat and start a new life free from oppression.

This is my America and he is my President I have to change it so that its better for my children. Because my mother is shocked that I speak four languages. Because my grand-father is shocked that I go to an Ivy League school. Because my great-grandmother would be shocked that it took me less than 10 minutes to vote. Because my great-great grandfather would be shocked that I could read above a third grade level.

When I studied abroad in Brazil my white host mother would tell me that I was lying when I said I lived in a house with my father "because black people don't do that". The men in my economics class didn't want to partner with me because, even without hearing me speak they knew I was a "stupid black girl". When I went to Colombia the head of the volunteer organization I was with said I "probably the only black girl they will ever know that goes to college". When I was in Cuba they were surprised my mother could be on T.V everyday "because her skin is so dark". Once on a train in Germany, my dad lost our tickets and another man had two tickets for us and the train attendant still charged him 250 euros for illegally boarding the train. In France I have seen waiters and waitresses immediately tend to my light-skin father and ask my dark-skin mother if she even has money to pay for the food.

There is no where else in the world I would rather be black in. I can't stop being black. I will continue, everyday, to be a representative to people who don’t believe in my success as a black girl from the south side of Chicago that they won’t stop me from fulfilling my dreams. I am free to be safe, I am free to be myself, I am free to change what is not right. This is my land, my home, I will never have another one. 


All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.