Racism

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.

Advertisements

33 Replies to “Racism”

  1. This is a great article. You are right, the words sometimes don’t help in the way that we feel they should, but you should keep writing as well. Sometimes it’s not just the words. It’s the right words, at the right time that makes a difference. You just putting your feelings out there is great! It helps people see your point of view. Everyone may not come around, but there may be 1 or 2 people that are ready for the shift, and when they are ready, they will come across your photography as well as your writing, and it will help them change their perspective. Even the picture you chose to display along with your words is beautiful. It shows that we are not born that way (hating one another). Racism is a learned behavior. Thank you for writing this – keep it up!

    1. Thank you so much! I have written a little on racism, especially pertaining to mixed race, but am actually working on a photo project showing how mixed race individuals are put on the sidelines of society. Hopefully I will be able to write something with it to make it an even stronger argument. Thanks for taking the time to read 🙂

      1. You’re welcome! No matter what the expression is – your heart has alot to say – be it through photography, writing, or any other way you choose to express. I believe you are going to inspire alot of people!

  2. Great post! Great topic (needed), Great reference to your shared frustration with “words” not accurately representing your thoughts (sometimes even come out completely off) lol
    There is only one thing I would like to mention about racism that might be something for people to consider……..
    Does the media seem to report news in a way that entices and influence prejudice?
    It seemed that way to me last time I watched (which was a long time ago) and I no longer watch news – Well, the theatrical presentation of chosen news.

    1. I believe it does, but I also think to some people, they think this is too true and do not realize how much prejudice is still in the world. They think to themselves that we have a black president in America, so its fine. But really they are apart of the problem because the president is half white and it is because of society and its prejudices that he is viewed as a black president. It is ridiculous how many layers go into this and how your statement is right and so is mine and so many in between. Its hard to explain and hard to get a lot of the times.

      1. Anyone who thinks rationally or even just individually will understand what we are generally referring to…….
        You are the first to get me talking or even mentioning this topic lol (not a bad thing)

        But, It is frustrating to see the groups that are a target for racism be held back and even set back due to the behavior of some which ends up reflecting on them as a whole (unfair) yes!
        I think the best way to reduce this continued prejudice (on any group) needs to be handled within that group. Well, I’ll be specific in example.
        Do minorities who are outraged because of a incident have the the right to assemble and protest against the government protection of civil rights? THE CONSTITUTION ANSWERS THAT—– YES

        But, rioting and looting, stealing (media coverage was not helpful) burning down your neighborhood is not going to resolve prejudice—- actually its going to amplify and create new people to be racists
        (MOST PEOPLE WATCHING THE NEWS ONLY SEE THIS ACTIVITY) THEY DO NOT REALIZE IT DOES’T REPRESENT THE MAJORITY
        AGAIN!!!! ANY MINORITY OR PERSON THAT FEELS THEY ARE VICTIMS

        1-WRONGDOING AND VIOLATIONS OF CIVIL RIGHTS SHOULD BE PROTECTED AND ACTED ON “PEACEFULLY” BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SYSTEMS – COURTS, POLICE STATIONS, STATE OFFICIALS ECT…(NOT ELECTRONIC STORES, LIQUOR STORES, BURNING DOWN THE NEIGHBORHOOD LOTING AND STEELING) **
        GRANTED THIS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF THE WHOLE
        — BUT, I FEEL ITS IMPERATIVE FOR THE REST WHO WATCH SILENTLY TO STEP UP AND NOT TOLERATE THESE FEW TO RUIN THE COLLECTIVE IMAGE SOCIETY PLACES ON THEM…..
        YES, IT DOESNT SOUND FAIR THAT A VICTIMIZED GROUP MUST BE THE ONES TO TAKE ACTION— BUT, I THINK THATS THE ONYL WAY —90% COULD BE COMPLETELY UMMMMMM “NORMAL” — BUT 10% BEING BROADCAST ON TV DOING WHAT THEY WERE——– RUINS IT UNFORTUNATELY

        OH BOY—— PLEASE DON’T LET MY ONE POST ON THIS TOPIC BE—– AHHH WHATEVER – WE ARE ALL JUST SPEAKING OPEN THOUGHTS

        WITH THE RECENT TOPIC AND INCIDENT DOWN IN THE SOUTH (YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT)

        I’M NOT TAKING A POSITION ON THE INCIDENT—– I’M REFERRING TO WHAT PROCEEDED …..
        RACE AND ALL ASIDE—– IF IT WAS MY SON WHY WAS KILLED—- REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVEN IF THEY WERE OUTRAGEOUS BEYOND IMAGINATION…….
        I WOULD HAVE MADE SURE TO PUBLICLY REPEAT TO PROTESTERS THAT ANY!!! VIOLENCE OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY RESULTING IN DAMAGE, INJURIES OR DEATHS —-WOULD BE A DISHONOR TO THE DEATH OF MY SON—-
        I THINK ILL STOP THERE

      2. The rioting was not from people of Ferguson if you are refering to that incident. Most of the people arrested were from out of town. Other people were migrating there to take advantage of the circumstances. The locals were the ones who posted people around the businessed to protect them. They did not destroy their own town.

      3. AGREED…… I MUST NOT HAVE GOT THE MESSAGE ACROSS THAT I WAS TRYING TO (NO SHOCKER THERE) LOL
        ANYWAY—- I LOOK FORWARD TO READING MORE OF YOUR BLOG AND HOPE YOU FIND MY INTERESTING AS WELL

      4. I will be posting another thing about race that I wrote a while ago that I hope you will enjoy. A different format and a different type of writing, so watch out for it! Ill hopefully have it out tomorrow!

      5. I believe everyone needs to be involved. I have friends who are of a lot of different ethniticies majorities and minorities and have seen many problems with the way they all see race. This is a global problem, not just within a minority group. And when a majority is known to have put suffering onto the minority group, obviously that is something that needs to be addressed on both sides, since there is a history of them oppressing, as well as a harsh feeling towards them because of this on thw other side. Hope I put my thoughts in the right way to be understood.

  3. Dear Natasha, great post and thanks for sharing. I think we should try to be sensible enough to recognise ‘the human side” for once, in stead of seeing the “black sides or the white sides ” of people… I mean really? skin color is an attribute ? That is so lame ..
    I never judged people on their skin colors , thank God for that …and I am so proud of my brown skin …. 🙂
    Keep posting gal!

    1. Thank you for reading!!! I know, it is very lame lol It unfortunately has been something I struggled with a lot of the times in my life because of the people I was surrounded by, but luckily have people as well who love me for me. Love your pictures and following now!! 🙂

  4. What a wonderful, affirming post! And I cannot agree more that racism in all its forms: religious, cultural, sexual, economic or visual are all terrible, terrible scourges of the human psyche! And I am so sorry for the pain that you have felt growing up, although I am glad to see that it has made you wiser, stronger and more perfect in every way!

    1. Thank you so much! I hate it that I had to grow through it, but I think going through it made me strong enough to be able to talk about it and realize what it was and how bad it was. All “isms” are terrible, and I hope that somehow I will make an impact at least on how one person thinks. We will see !!

      1. ‘hope that somehow I will make a difference…’ No, you have ALREADY made a difference by being who you are and for standing up for others. We are a movement! 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s