What are your experiences in meeting new or different cultures from your own?
"Brown eyes and brown skin is what I have". I was delighted to move away from my home country to Bahamas. Brown eyes and brown skin is what they have. They spoke English and I spoke English also. They are of African descent, I am too. What could possibly make me different? I felt definite that I wasn't going to have any difficulty with segregation and discrimination. I went with great expectations; to make friends, teach people about my culture and learn about theirs and ultimately be myself. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met
I encountered prejudice. Apparently, I could not speak properly in the ears of my classmates. They forced me to say every word I said twice. We had different accents, although I did my best to listen to them, they didn't care enough to do the same for me. Their response always ended with a giggle. I always sat alone during lunch, I ate my books since I was too scared to buy lunch for fear that the lunch lady would shout at me and serve me last like she did on two different occasions. I did well in school and was soon recognized as "smart". My classmates didn't like this and found every single way to taunt me. I was shocked.
Unfortunately, not only the students acted this way, teachers also did and even the Principal. I remember when I was in tenth grade. The principal sent me home because she believed my hair wasn't proper, when in fact she had said tome earlier that she liked my hairstyle. Other kids had the same hairstyle but I guess I stood out to her as negative.
I didn't only experience discrimination within school society but within the society. I wanted to join the nursing cadet program, Government General Youth Award program but I was made to understand that only Bahamians were allowed to join. Why? I don't know. I was also forced to stay home since I always got treated inhumanely wherever I went. I remember precisely when I was made to stand two hours at a shoe store since the helper refused to help me, repeatedly calling me a foreigner.
Despite my hurt and anger about all these, I didn't fall behind in my school work; I worked harder and used every opportunity I got. Lately, I've had a breakthrough. Some of the kids who had taunted me for three years are now my friends. My refusal to crack under the pressure made them change. I hold nothing against them and have just seen everything as ignorance.
I also need some help shrinking this, please tell me if it makes sense. Thank you in advance. I will return the favor.:)
**** I really enjoyed the poetry of your essay. I organized the paragraphs to reflect what you felt during school and outside school as both environments were plagued with racism. I also toned down your indignation at some moments. If you aren't writing a novel, then you don't want to sound the least bit whiny or pathetic. You can't give them anything to target. Wish you all the best****