Strong Independent Black Woman

There’s something about growing up as a young minority child in the twenty first century— it’s made me who I am. rock-eautyMy parents have raised me to be intelligent in every way possible, responsible for the mistakes I make, and strong enough to push past anything that may hold me back. They told me that I am capable of everything I put my mind to. What does my mom like to tell me?

I am a strong independent black woman.

There are things that I am that will change as I get older, for I am a teenager, but not for much longer, and I am a college freshman, but only for another four months…These labels are temporary, as many are in this life. But what is one label I can never shed? The color of my skin.

So why not be proud of it?

Last week I talked a lot about representing the African American minority here at Cal Poly, with an even smaller group in the STEM careers. It is something I am proud of and am reminded that I am entirely capable of— coming into the school as a student in science is something I believed I wanted.

Now I’m not so sure.


Because as you all know, I LOVE writing. If I had to do something for the rest of my life, it will involve english no matter what happens. All my friends here know that I love to write as major part of my life, it’s hard not to know from the amount of quotes I’m always dropping into conversations. Even though I am crock-in-handurrently a chemistry major with an idea to switch into Kinesiology, like I said, things are changing.

If you’ve been following my blog posts since the beginning, you might remember the quote from my parents that said “minor in something you love, major in something you can pay the bills with.” I used to think those were two completely different things… Lately, I’ve been thinking that they are one in the same. What if I can do both in one, two birds with one stone so-to-speak?

There’s something about growing up as a young minority child in the twenty first century— it’s made me who I am. My parents have raised me to be intelligent in every way possible, responsible for the mistakes I make, and strong enough to push past anything that may hold me back. They told me that I am capable of everything I put my mind to. What does my mom like to tell me?

I am a strong independent black woman.

There are things that I am that will change as I get older, for I am a teenager, but not for much longer, and I am a college freshman, but only for another four months…These labels are temporary, as many are in this life. But what is one label I can never shed? The color of my skin.

So why not be proud of it?

Last week I talked a lot about representing the African American minority here at Cal Poly, with an even smaller group in the STEM careers. It is something I am proud of and am reminded that I am entirely capable of— coming into the school as a student in science is something I believed I wanted.

Now I’m not so sure.

Because as you all know, I LOVE writing. If I had to do something for the rest of my life, it will involve english no matter what happens. All my friends here know that I love to write as major part of my life, it’s hard not to know from the amount of quotes I’m always dropping into conversations. Even though I am currently a chemistry major with an idea to switch into Kinesiology, like I said, things are changing.

If you’ve been following my blog posts since the beginning, you might remember the quote from my parents that said “minor in something you love, major in something you can pay the bills with.” I used to think those were two completely different things… Lately, I’ve been thinking that they are one in the same. What if I can do both in one, two birds with one stone so-to-speak. Like my parents taught me, I am capable of anything I put my mind to.BIRD PICTURE.

But wait? What about representing black females in STEM, especially here at Cal Poly?

Here’s the thing about being a minority, currently headed towards a career where I believe we need far more representation than we already have— we are underrepresented and under pursued in STEM, however it isn’t my job to change that. So what is my job? It is my job to find something I know I can excel at and go change this world with everything I am, whether it means that I write a book to impact just one person’s life or find another way to have an impact. No matter where I end up, I know one thing for sure:

I am a representation of the color of my skin. And I am ready to show that we are capable of anything and everything we put our minds to.

Maybe I could be good at both writing and a science centered career, I see nothing wrong with that. My only issue, I don’t want to be good at anything… I want to be great. The people who have had a large impact in my life, from my parents and my best friends to celebrities and authors, have all done something big to change a part of who I am. How did they do that? By being exceptional at being who they are and the jobs they are here to do. Don’t get me wrong, good is always okay. But great… Now that’s something I can aim for.

I am eighteen, I am a college freshman, and I an an African American. Two out of these three things will change within the next four months of my life. But that last one? That last one is something I walk around with on my skin every single day of my life and I am proud to represent, it has made me who I am. So whether I do follow through in STEM or do something different all together, I plan to be the best I can possibly be and nothing less.

For I am a representation of women, black students, and everything inbetween. Minor in something you love, major in something you can pay the bills with.

Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones who can find a way to make it both.

Like my parents taught me, I am capable of anything I put my mind to.

But wait? What about representing black females in STEM, especially here at Cal Poly?

Here’s the thing about being a minority, currently headed towards a career where I believe we need far more representation than we already have— we are underrepresented and under pursued in STEM, however it isn’t my job to change that. So what is my job? It is my job to find something I know I can excel at and go change this world with everything I am, whether it means that I write a book to impact just one person’s life or find another way to have an impact. No matter where I end up, I know one thing for sure:

I am a representation of the color of my skin. And I am ready to show that we are capable of anything and everything we put our minds to.

Maybe I could be good at both writing and a science centered career, I see nothing wrong with that. My only issue, I don’t want to be good at anything… I want to be great. The people who have had a large impact in my life, from my parents and my best friends to celebrities and authors, have all done something big to change a part of who I am. How did they do that? By being exceptional at being who they are and the jobs they are here to do. Don’t get me wrong, good is always okay. But great… Now that’s something I can aim for.

I am eighteen, I am a college freshman, and I am an African American. Two out of these three things will change within the next four months of my life. But that last one? That last one is something I walk around with on my skin every single day of my life and I am proud to represent, it has made me who I am. So whether I do follow

read-book-tablethrough in STEM or do something different all together, I plan to be the best I can possibly be and nothing less.

For I am a representation of women, black students, and everything inbetween. Minor in something you love, major in something you can pay the bills with.

Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones who can find a way to make it both.

The Beauty of Standing Up

“I, too, sing America.”splitshire-9614

Two weeks ago I put up my new poetry page in addition to my blog posts, and this week I decided to do something special: This week I am combining them into one.

Last Saturday and Sunday, I’m sure you heard all about the Women’s March no matter where you are in the world— voices could be heard across the globe, from here in SLO to Amsterdam. Whether they were protesting for individual rights,
against our new President, or something entirely different, their words all came from the same place.

They came from the idea that this is something worth fighting for.

No matter what your political views are or how you feel about America right now, you have to admit, there is something beautiful about people from all walks of life coming together to advocate for something they believe in. In watching the news, scrolling through photos, and listening to professors mention the events in class, it brought me back to a poem I read a few weeks back that made me think about who America really is. Through the Poem a day email signup on Academy of American Poets, I came across Langston Hughes’s poem I, Too.

In the face of adversity, voices tend to rise, and I love what Hughes has to say below. Throughout the poem, we see a contrast between where those represented are to where they know
they will be in time. It’s the belief that things will change, the fight for a better stance, and a sense of belonging they deserve to find… It’s part of what makes us human.

The need to fight for what we believe we deserve.

vast oceanNot only does he say he will “grow strong”, but soon enough “They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed”.


That is the goal isn’t it? To become something better, something stronger— someone who holds the beauty others are ashamed they couldn’t see until it was too late. Because the truth is what people are fighting for, whether it is wholly universal or simply personal. What is true to us means something in our hearts and that is
always worth fighting for.

I think no matter what you believe those in the Women’s March were trying to say, Hughes ties it all together in this beautiful poem, I, Too. So without further ado, I share with you a work of art that I only wish I had come across sooner. Here’s to a more honest, stronger future, and brighter days ahead.

I, Too

By Langston Hughes

 

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,splitshire-7553

And grow strong.

 

Tomorrow,

I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”

Then.

 

Besides,

They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed—

 

I, too, am America.