Olivia DeCrosta

Shaker HS Track and Field | Age 17 | @_livvierose


As I get ready for school each morning, 

I look in the mirror and think, 

Am I good enough.  

Good enough to blend in. 

Blend in so when I walk into a school, 

Where the majority is white,  

They see me. 

See me for who I am. 

Not the color of my skin,  

Not as another minority, 

Not as poor or even as uneducated,  

But for them to see me as a human being. 

An equal.

An equal that has the same opportunities,  

The same family values. 

The same will and desire to succeed in life. 

And for all the fighting I have done, 

I am tired.

Tired of having my race define me. 

Tired of having people tell me how I should act. 

Tired of having to prove more in this world than others. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. did not work so hard,  

For African-Americans to still be treated unequally.

They say white people experience racism, too.  

But do they truly understand what racism is? 

Did they have their ancestors shipped to a country against their will? 

Where they were put in fields to work under unbearable conditions? 

To be beaten, raped, and killed? 

Were they treated as if they were property? 

Did they have laws to confine their whole race?

But as a whole race, we can come together.  

Show everyone just how powerful and united African-Americans can be. 

Show our children they are special because of their differences,  

And teach them to love themselves no matter what. 

Because being African-American should not be a stereotype, 

But a symbol.

A symbol to be proud of,  

A reminder of how much we have overcome not just as a race, 

But as a community. 

For that, I am truly honored to be African-American.

So when I come home from school 

And look in the mirror after a long day, 

I am good enough.

Because no matter what they see  

Or what they think of me, 

I am an African-American woman.