Growing up, I believed that I was all African American. My mother was African American and so was my brother and that is all I needed to know, to know that I was African American. However, as i got older, people began to question my ethnicity. Some claiming that I looked nothing like my mother (who people assumed was from Africa due to her skin color). I started to look at my family and began to think if I even belonged there. I was the only one on my moms side with my color. Everyone on my mothers side, such as cousins, aunts, grandmas, made it seem like I was an outcast. I recently go in touch with my dad and his side of the family and was only then to realize I am not fully African American. I gained knowledge and learned that I have as much as 7 different ethnicities within me, in my DNA. I’ve grown to love myself and all the different genes my DNA makes up. Now when I see that “Check race/ethnicity box” I dont just check “African American” I check what I am. Even if that means checking every box on that form. I will not be categorized or subjected to check only “one or two”. I will check all that applies to me! If you can not accept that, then you are not accepting me and I will not be there to let you tell me otherwise. I know who I am. I am not just African American. I am Erica. With all my different ethnicities and self worth.