OREO. You think of nothing more than a chocolate sandwich cookie with a creamy white filling. However, this word is used to offensively describe African-Americans who are perceived as trying to be white. White is seen as speaking proper English, being well-educated, and having high aspirations in life. The enigma of a seemingly contradictory personality has followed me for years as some of my peers think my desire for knowledge is a negative trait. This has pushed me to change that belief ever since I can remember.
Throughout my early years of life, I had an overpowering feeling that my talent, whatever that might be, will be shown to the public. Whether it was me placing first place in my sixth grade writing competition, starting my middle school’s first news production team, or being captain of my high school’s debate team, I always wanted my work to be shown to the public. Also, being on the debate team has given me the ability to react to certain situations under pressure. I believe that is essential to being a journalist allowing me think on my feet in an effective manner. Having done these various activities in the early stages of my life, it has taught me the value of understanding the public. I can accept constructional criticism and use that as fuel to produce the best quality work of my ability.
My mom provided the foundation of my work ethic. Growing up in a single-parent household watching your mom work two jobs to provide for you and your twin can have a positive effect. All I know is hard work through watching my mom. My mom taught me that you can do anything in your life as long as you believe and work hard enough. This concept has stuck with me throughout my life.
If striving for success classifies me as an “Oreo” then I proudly accept my black on the outside and white on the inside ways. With every step I take I try to crush that damaging perception and build a new way of thinking about being this little treat. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be America’s favorite cookie?