I used to struggle with accepting who I was. I wasn’t like the strong people who could stand up for themselves or have confidence. I tried to hide who I was and sometimes was even ashamed of myself. I was scared of being me because I might not be accepted for that. I was even scared to get the book “The Hate You Give,” thinking that people would judge me or stare at me.
Being one of the few black students in my school, I felt that I was alone in these struggles. But as I read, I realized that Starr, the main character in the book, goes through the same kind of struggles I do. I felt like I connected with her, because she faces the same everyday challenges that I do; not too black, but not too white. Even if I’m one thing, I feel like I have to act another depending on where I am. I can’t be too black, but I can’t act too white. Almost every student in my school never has to think about that. Because, just like Starr says, “I never know which Starr I should be. I can use some slang, but not too much slang, some attitude, but not too much attitude so I’m not a ‘sassy black girl.’ I have to watch what I say and how I say it, but I can’t sound too ‘white.’”
I had a lot of emotion around this idea. I learned a lot of things. I learned that everyone is not equal! We are all different. We face different challenges. But the way we treat people should not be different for any reason. It should be equal! I truly believe that “THUG LIFE, the hate you give little infants ‘messes’ everyone.” Being mean and hateful toward others really does mess up society.
After thinking about this, I learned and gained things. I gained more confidence. It doesn’t mean I still won’t have hard days, but I learned that I really can’t change some things about myself and I need to accept who I am. I learned to better stand up for what is right. I’ve learned that everyone has different days, challenges, and beliefs and we just have to accept everyone.