We'd like to announce Ti Nasia Mason as our Black history month essay contest winner! Ms. Mason is a freshman Sociology major with a concentration in criminal justice. Thank you for your participation! Read essay below.
A Little Black Girl’s Journey
It was not always easy for a little Black girl to grow up in Laurinburg, North Carolina considering it’s such a small town. Thanks to my super strong and close family structure, the traditional southern values they taught helped to shape me into the independent woman I am today. However, being from the south didn’t shield me from realizing the stark difference between the history of Black and White America.
I recall learning about White people's achievements and wondering whether Black people and other people of color had given any noteworthy contributions to the world. Growing up was difficult due to my family and childhood keeping me in the dark about how society views people with darker skin tones. I was not sure what to expect once I left my family and neighborhood or how I was going to make friends and engage with people from other racial groups. I had to learn every single one of the things I mentioned the hard way, which made life feel even tougher than it already was. So, you can imagine my delight when I learned that there was a month specifically for folks who looked like little old me.
We in the Black community should be proud of Black History Month and view it as a success. I learned so much about Black history while I was growing up and I will always be grateful for that. Every year in school we would study people like Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King. But I was specifically impacted by learning about Malcom X because of his history of being a minister and leader in the civil rights movement as proponent of Black nationalism.
Knowing my school history also impacted me and you can only imagine how proud I am to be attending the first HBCU in the South, Shaw University. I feel as though I've started a new chapter in my life and all I can see is success moving forward. I intend to enroll in NCCU School of Law after completing my four years at Shaw University as an Honors student. I look forward to participating in what I hope will be even more educational and rewarding experiences. By accomplishing my academic goals, I will become a first-generation college graduate as well as a first-generation lawyer. My own life and success wouldn't be possible without those who came before me. I will continue to carry all the lessons I’ve learned about Black history with me.