Something I have been pondering all of my 17 years on this earth is the human soul. I was raised knowing that I was no different than any other soul, even if the skin on my body was a little darker. As soon as I started school, my knowledge that I was the same was tested. I knew that I was half black. I knew everyone else was white. I knew that we had one or two fully black kids in the class. I did not and still to this day do not know why people treat other people differently based on their skin color.
Grade school was not so bad. Middle school was the worst. My first day of being a fifth grader started off with an eighth grader calling me a “fuzzy haired nigger.” I had to be careful who I befriended because most had already judged me. The children had not even given me a chance. They threw me away into the outsider club along with any other “different” new kid that came their way. Although, they informed me that they preferred me to the fully black kids. At least I “acted white.”
These children amazed me with their ignorance. The sad thing was it was not just them. Even a few of my family members displayed a bit of hate towards my darker side. From an aunt who swore that “It’s okay, I think of you as white,” to an uncle who blamed my attitude one day on my “black girl side,” my skin tone rarely worked for my benefit. I would think to myself, who were they to label me? I am Natasha Brooke Sykes! Label me that! Call my personality loud, funny, or sometimes shy. Label me as determined, random, or strong. Do not say that my personality is black or white. To categorize a whole skin color by pretending like personality is as simple as black and white is wrong. It is especially wrong if one is supposed to mean dignified and proper and the other means just trashy and loud.
I do my best to show people the wrong in this way of thinking. I speak to them about it. I help them to figure out why they think the way they do. My words are not enough. They reach through to some, but not all. Photography is international. I do not have to have a translator to make someone feel the emotions from a photo. I want to master the skill of invoking thoughts and actions through my art. My goal is to change humanity’s way of thinking for the better. I will work to change the stereotypes and misunderstandings of Blacks, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, homosexuals, transgenders, whatever the case may be, with my photography. I will change the world. I will help people to not be judged by their skin, but by their ideas and choices in life.