I alone have the ability to define myself

Nov. 9, 2015

I am black, my voice is not.

My skin color does not define who I am or where I came from.

Forgive me for being confused when I hear, “You don’t act or sound black,” and I will forgive you for your adolescent comments and misinterpretation of who I am based on what media say.

Do I sound “white?”

I didn’t know the skin color you were born with came with a script.

When I first transferred to UCCS, it was clear that diversity was not reflected in the classroom. But the students were friendly and I felt comfortable, until I went to my friend’s race and gender class.

When my professor brought up African-Americans, eyes shifted in our direction.

I felt as if we were the template for the ethnicity group and their actions. What people fail to realize when it comes to African-Americans and any other race, is that we are individuals.

Everyone thinks and acts differently. Yes, there are similarities, but that doesn’t define us as a whole.

Language is one of the ways we communicate with each other and establish a culture.

On and off campus, I have experienced both ends of being expected to know a language based on your ethnicity.

People are surprised when someone of Hispanic or Latin descent does not know Spanish and, at the same time, they are shocked that I do.

This is for all races here at UCCS. It doesn’t matter if you are Black, White, Asian or Hispanic.

To Ashley who sounds like Keisha and Darius who sounds like Bob. To the mixed people, who sounded too white for their black side, but feel the need to switch it up when they are around black people.

For those who after introducing themselves, are automatically judged as being from the hood or from across the border. It’s OK to be black and not have rhythm or white and have a little junk in the trunk. Color is not a definition of who I am and it is not a definition of who you are.

I am not the crazy girl you see on World Star.

I am not the black female twerking in the music videos, nor am I the words or accent that comes from my mouth.

I am DeKeveion Zhan’e Glaspie, and I sound and act like me.