I really like all of these. So when I wrote my DS I was sooo happy with it, but reading everyone elses it feels so inferior to me. Thankfully I'm done with applying or else I might have just gotten rid of it, but I guess some schools liked it so I hope you guys do to!
I cannot pinpoint the exact day as to when I realized that I was different, but at a certain point, I could never understand why I have always been treated so. Growing up, I have had society tell me many different things that I did not even know about myself. I have had the media dictate to society what they ought to expect from me because my skin complexion matches that of other people. Today, I have found comfort in my skin, no matter what people think of me, but the truth is that to understand who I truly am, I have to come clear on exactly what I am not...
I am not Black. It was not until I got a little bit older that people would start comparing me to other Blacks that I differentiated myself. I was not just Black. My skin might have been darker, but I was not the type of person you can fit into a category. What I truly am is: Canadian, Jamaican, Indian, Scottish and Jewish (the ethnicity, not the religion). What people do not know when they look at me is that I am a quarter White and the majority Indian, it just so happens that my skin color matches that of other African Americans. Although, I have found that I have no choice, but to mark the box that says so, I am not Black.
I am not a part of a simple family. Not only am I different than the majority of society, I am completely unique within my own family as well. Both of my parents and three of my brothers were born in Jamaica and all of them had previously grown up in a neighborhood that had a dominant Jamaican culture. My parents both had children in previous marriages and upon marrying, they had me. My father’s three sons are Jamaican, Indian, and Jewish and my mother’s two are Jamaican, Chinese, and Scottish. It was hard growing up in a family that was so different than myself.
I am not supported by my family in everything that I do. I grew up with the mainstream Canadian culture and at times this was very different than the many cultures found in my own house. While everyone in my family was listening to Reggae, I started listening to country music. My parents could not grasp the fact that I would listen to alternative music such as Our Lady Peace and Nirvana. Not only would my brothers find it amusing to fool with me for the sheer fact that I was a girl, but because of mere music selections, I had set myself apart and would pay the price. Not a day would go by that I would not be ridiculed for the fact that the majority of my friends were White, I listened to “White people” music, and had no idea how to be Black. Their favorite thing to call me was “White-washed.” I found out at a very early age that being “Black” had a lot more to do with than my skin color.
I am not a spoiled little girl. Both of my parents had respectable employment, but due to unfortunate circumstances, they became unable to work. My mother, working at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as a court clerk, worked in a time before headsets and spent a lot of time with the telephone resting on her shoulder while typing. This caused arthritis from her neck right down through her fingers. My father was just as unfortunate. He used to deliver for UPS, but one day, while on the job, he fell down a staircase and now has incurable back problems and arthritis in his right shoulder. Both of my parents, due to their injuries are now on permanent disability and can no longer work. This created so many problems for my family. No longer could my father even pick me up, my mother had to learn to write with her left hand, and they both battled depression. My parents would trade sitting at home to go back to work in a second and it is their work ethic I wish to emulate. At a very early age, I had to realize that my parents could not financially support me. I have had to work hard to get to where I am today, and because of my parents, I know that I cannot take anything for granted.
I am not held back by stereotypes. Just as I do not classify myself as being “Black”, I do not believe that I have to live up to the stereotypes of that title. As a child, my parents gave me the freedom to try many things and entertain many dreams and for this I am grateful because I have become a very well rounded person. Unfortunately, many people would not use the term “well rounded”, but instead it changes into being “White”. For some reason, a Black person is acting White when they are able to ice skate and swim, do not watch Black Entertainment Television, but instead listen to country music. Those who get to know me at Niagara University say the same things, they call me an “Oreo” because I am supposedly Black on the outside and White on the inside. If I were to listen and internalize all of the stereotypes I have heard throughout the years, I would never have become the woman I am today. I have come to realize that by labeling certain things as either "Black" or "White" is putting a limitation on what I am capable of doing. No action should be unacceptable because of my race, because no matter what I look like on the outside, in the end I am still a human being.
Who I am is not easily explained, but over the years I have found myself knowing exactly who I am not. I am comfortable in my own skin, I have found a way to survive life without a great deal of money and I reject the stereotypes that could potentially hold me back. I no longer care if someone thinks that I am “acting White” and they refer to me as an Oreo, instead I have no problem in joining and letting them know that I am no ordinary Oreo, I am double stuffed.