Racial Identity Autobiography

When I was young I looked forward to the finer things of life. It wasn’t until I grew older and wiser that I was faced with more complexities than I was prepared for. My family home had several African paintings and sculptures but with the increasing number of times we had to move to different places, the fewer things made it to our next home. As I aged, I saw less of these models representing my heritage and native culture.

Instead I saw more adaption to the American system and their way of life. My parents started supplying me with toys of Barbie dolls that were predominantly of the pale complexions with no clue that this would shape my view of myself. I remember, spending majority of my free time making scenarios for my dolls, recognizing the porcelain/unrealistic like features. I would go to the mirror analyzing myself and desperately wished I had the same fair skin as my dolls and many of the other kids I befriended in my neighborhood. Clark & Clark’s study reflects how I viewed myself during this period. The study fit my reasoning for self-hatred at the time; I had significant beliefs that a more pale skin was ideally beautiful compared to my own. I felt uncomfortable being in the skin that I was and prayed thinking that my life would be substantially different if my skin was changed. The transition from a suburban-like area and higher socioeconomic status to lower socioeconomic status and more poverty stricken neighborhood affected my adaptation during middle school.

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Raised from a strict household, I was pushed to follow the school dress code even though many of my peers did not follow the rule. Even when identified with a group, I was still being picked on by the others. Within this culture of blacks, there laid a subculture where the blacks were separated into more specific groups (those that knew each other from elementary school vs. the “nerds” merged with the newbies).

My peers did not see me as one of “them” although …