I, Too, Am America
America, the melting pot of the world, and yet its different races have
so much trouble melding together. According to statistics, in all probability,
I have a higher chance than any other race teenager of not graduating from high
school. By stereotype, all I do is eat fried chicken, sell drugs, and play
basketball. In society, I might work twice as hard as the next man and not get
the promotion. I am a part of the percentage who chooses to defy the
probability, break the stereotype, and change society. I, Too, Am America.
Unfortunately, in my experience through junior and senior high, the
common black attitude towards education has been one of neglect. Not caring
about one “F,” or the other, careening through high school with a gpa of 1.5.
However, there are those who really care about their grades, earning the respect
of their peers and friends. I strive to be in the latter group, so that I can
better myself. For every black student who makes that extra effort, that better
grade, there will be another person who becomes more enlightened to the facts
and not the fiction of black life in America. In the act of improving my mind,
I am not only helping myself but furthering the cause for complete equality
throughout the nation.
As part of America’s black youth, I must grow up in a world of racism,
no matter what supposed “huge steps” have been made. It is up to me not to use
this as an excuse but as an obstacle to surmount. In my lifetime I will be
faced with prejudice which may hinder my progress. This opposition must not be
met with excuses for substandard work, or inadequate job qualification. It must
be met with a serious work ethic, justly qualified applicants, and intelligence
so not to be denied for any reason. Through this procedure black people will
gain equality and vanquish the racist mentality. I will be one of those people
to meet the adversary with full force of mind.
I am a black teenager who plays soccer and tennis. Sometimes I am
ridiculed for playing these sports by other blacks. I also face ridicule when I
make good grades and care about my school work. There will be times when I will
have to fight against my own race to get where I want to be in life. My high
school career is one of those times. I am and will continue to be myself. I
will not stray from my path. Without education and self-respect the black
youth are being held down by themselves. I and others like me struggle for
change, but it will take more than our struggle to change an entire nation.
“I, Too, Am America?” I am part of the intelligent, strong generation
that will one day run this country. I am part of the heartfelt, determined
black youth which will one day end the racist mentality. I am true to my
obligation by being myself, educating myself, and standing for what I believe in.
“I, Too, Am America?” I and others like me are the heart, body, and soul of
what America is, should be, and will be.