As a young hispanic girl my family taught us to not have relationships with African American. I never understood that. I realized I was more than hispanic, I am Native American and Italian. My race (not sure what that is) comes in different shades. I didn’t agree with my family and my family didn’t like that. I even disagreed on our religion, I was always curious as to why we shouldn’t believe or like something different. I had so many things going on in my life when I was a teenager. My family blamed my black friends for my behavior, I laughed because I was doing things on my own. I once was transferred out of my high school to go to a predominantly Hispanic school, only to be transferred back to my school in the same day. I appreciated that principal at the other school who listened to me and not my parents. I was called the n-word for dating outside my race. By this time I realized that I did not fit into where I was born. I had to be free of ignorance that my family believed, and everyone said that I was different. I didn’t speak Spanish but I could understand it. The things that your “own kind” say when they think you don’t understand is crazy. I have 2 daughters and that didnt set well with my family since they were not our race. It made some people change and others stayed the same. I still never felt that I belong in this family. But now I have my own family and during this time they are having their own kids. I am so blessed to have my daughters and to watch them with their children. My grandkids will know all races and cultures because that is what I will teach them going forward to celebrate life in all shades.