"Keep Your Head Up" – KH

I will be attending Thurgood Marshall Academy in the fall.

One day, I was on the bus and it was jam packed, with only one empty seat beside a white woman. I walked up to her and asked “Could I sit down?” and she replied “No.” Then, another white lady got on the bus, and the same lady that told me “No”, offered the open seat to her. I said to my cousin and sister  “That is sad,” and they responded “You know she white” and I said “That doesn’t mean anything,” then they replied, “Yes it does, because you know them white people don't really get along with us, black people.” So, I just pretended it didn’t bother me. I just silently continued my journey to the store in Maryland. When we arrived at our stop, we saw my aunt. Before I could greet her, my little sister opened her big mouth and said “K asked a white lady can she sit down and the lady told her no!” My aunt replied “Why are you even worried about stuff like that, you all should’ve just asked me to pick you up.” I know I could’ve easily asked for a ride but I didn’t mind taking the bus, sometimes I actually like the bus. I just listen to the music in my headphones and zone out.  When I zone out, I don’t have to worry about racism or any forms of discrimination but I know that in the real world, it still exists.

This year, my teacher taught me different life lessons during G4L class. She taught me about colorism, lack of quality education in certain parts of the world, racism, discrimination and much more. She helped me give vocabulary words to things that I had experienced but didn’t know how to describe. When I was in elementary school, I had this teacher, she was a black woman and she would always treat me differently than the rest of the students. I was the only light skin student in class so I assumed that was why she treated me differently than the rest of my peers. I couldn’t think of any other reason as to why she didn’t think I deserved to be treated fairly or equally. My teacher would cheer on, congratulate, and even be playful with all the other students in class. However, when it came to me, she would always give me my homework last. She would never call on me when I raised my hand. She would always be rude to me whenever I finally did get the chance to ask a question. So, I told my mom and my mom came to sit in class with me to see what was really going on. The day my mom came up to the school, my teacher was so nice. She even called on me first, every time I raised my hand. However, the next day when my mom didn’t come to school with me, my teacher went back to her normal ways. I felt neglected and that was an uncomfortable feeling, I didn’t understand why she was kind to the other students and mean to me. My mom took me out of that school because she got tired of me complaining and she said no one had a right to treat me that way.  

A word of advice to my fellow scholars is to always keep your head up, no matter who is trying to make you feel less than. A quote that inspires me is, “Empowered women, empower women.” I chose this quote because I am a big sister and I take pride in teaching my siblings and I always try to lead by example.  I always encourage my siblings to do their best in school. I also try to be mature and make the load easier for my mom.

– KH