To My Brothers & Sisters

I have an honest fear that one day my younger siblings will come and tell me that their dreams aren’t achievable. I cringe, trying my best to fight the formation of tears at the thought that one day they may not feel like they’ll be enough. You see, I’ve spent my life running a race that I’m not expected to win. Now I’m not trying to complain, but it’s always felt like my hurdles were just a little bit taller. Despite the difficulty, I’ve faced each trial knowing that giving up was never an option. I still remember when my mom sat me down and told me how important it was that I set an example. She explained to me that I now had someone who will become my shadow. A little person who will look up to me, mimicking the moves I make. I look at them now and they’re all special in their own little way; so much life and talent.

But our society doesn’t see the light that shines inside them like I do. Young black children are rarely portrayed as the one who discovered the power within them, then used it to create positivity in a world so cruel. We’re told that people raised in the hood will die there, and struggling families never make it. We’re told that pulling yourself up from your boot straps is just a myth; and although we’ve seen black people obtain success, we’re told we aren’t like them.

So I’ve stood in front of every obstacle I’ve faced knowing that someone had to show my brothers and sisters that success isn’t about luck, but it’s about hard work and determination. That where a person has been should never stop them from where they’re going; that despite how tall the hurdles may seem there is always away to climb it. My mistakes I pray they’ll learn from, and my achievements I hope they’ll grow from. I hope to God that I’ve been an example of a person who never stops fighting and each night as I close my eyes I pray that this is one fear I’ll never face.

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