I wish that I knew……
……..that it was ok to be black (yes you read it correctly)! What I mean by this, is that sometimes the world made me feel like the grass was greener on the other side but it never is in life, whichever side of the fence you look at it
From day 1, I had always been taught not to see colour, which in my opinion is the right thing to do. At the end of the day as cheesy as it sounds, we are all one race – the human race, hence it shouldn’t matter if one is black, white or green lol. But as you grow older and move from one stage of your life to another, it is hard to carry on with this type of thinking , even if you want to; Society doesn’t allow you.
The primary school I attended was predominately black. The secondary school I attended was predominately white. I was the first black head girl in the history of that school to become Head Girl. When I was in the ‘black’ environment I felt no way about being black – as I said before, I have always been taught that race didn’t matter. However, when I entered a ‘new’ environment at secondary school, I felt a lot more conscious about the colour of my skin. Dare I say it, but there was a time when I thought to myself that it would just be ‘easier’ if I was white. Conversations would be easier. Socialising would be easier. Studying would be easier (yeah right 😏). These thoughts alone made me feel bad. This perception of it being ‘easier’ on either side of the fence is slightly biased and maybe even unfair of me. Anyway my point is, over time I had to force myself to get over this discomfort, which in a way served me well for both university and my various roles after uni. I am not going to say it was easy but it certainly was beneficial, especially when I was the only black person in a team of 280 people!
My overall message or takeaway if you like, is that no matter what side of the fence you look at it from, it is important to celebrate our differences rather than ignore them It makes us understand one another even better and dare I say it create better relationships!