January 25, 1978 was when I was born, An African American girl not knowing what was to be for her years down the road. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I was around plenty of people that are like me. My name is Kimberly Wyche and this paper will provide an overview of my experiences within my community and focus on ethnicity and the way race and ethnicity has shaped my own personal life view, as well as the way I am perceived by others.
Growing up in Detroit I never knew what being an African American really was or what African Americans went through to become free and equal in the United States. Detroit is a big city in Michigan and according to (2010) Nielsen Demographics “ the 2000 census states African Americans made up 81.6 pct of the 5,456,400 people living in Detroit, MI, which is 445,242,240 total.” From my childhood, I remember my parents always talking about how we had to struggle for everything. My parents are older so my dad told stories of how his mother used to clean houses and work for the white american people. I didn’t see anybody that wasn’t like me growing up until elementary school. When my mom took us to grocery stores, it was people like me, even the playgrounds, beauty supplies, and restaurants we ate at was mostly African American. I do remember this gas station my dad like to go to and the guy behind the counter was not African American, but was very light skinned and spoke in a different language. He was always friendly and often gave me some candy when I went with my dad. Years later I found out he was an Arab American and spoke Arabic.
By the time I reached elementary school, I realized African American people came in all shades from very light to very dark. I was one of those kids that were very dark skinned. This was my first time experiencing some form of racial slurs, and it was from people that were like me. The kids in school that was lighter than me made lots of jokes about my color such as calling me skillet,...
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