Peace on... Finding Unity After Experiencing Racism

Peace shares a powerful personal story about her experiences of racism, discrimination and embracing her culture.

I remember the first day I realised I wasn’t white.

It was in the early stages of primary school in England when my teacher told me to draw a picture of myself with my family.

Considering my artistic ability didn’t quite reach its full potential at the time, I decided to draw stick figures instead. Although I personally believed that my drawing should have been put on display at a museum, my teacher claimed that I left out one important feature.

“Peace, you’re Black,” she said, while handing me a brown crayon. It was at that moment, I realised something huge. Something that hadn’t crossed my mind before.

I was the only one in the room that needed that crayon.

Conflicting identities

I was the only one that was different.

The more I realised how different I was from my classmates, the more I wanted to be like them. The more I submerged myself into English culture and the more I rejected my Nigerian culture at home.

I felt it was necessary to sacrifice one culture in order to partake in another, in order to fit in.

And for the most part, it worked.

I remember telling my parents that I hated being Nigerian.

I realise now that although my experience in middle school strengthened the line I drew between my conflicting cultures, my transition into high school transformed my concept of identity.

Embracing culture

It wasn’t until I got to secondary school that I started to embrace my cultural backgrounds.

I didn’t care what people thought of my skin, accent or differences.

Instead, I stood up for my country and ethnicity and did not accept any form of racism, targeted at any race. I stood up for everyone and made people understand that your skin colour doesn’t matter.

Besides, everyone is unique in their own way and even though we may have different skin colour, we all deserve to be respected and treated the same way.

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Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.