I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I grew up ashamed of my Blackness. I heard the n-word for the first time in elementary school. I prayed every night for God to make me white. At the age of 17 I was told to go sit with the rest of the Blacks by the people I grew up with. The Blacks had only arrived in my school system after rezoning enable more minorities to attend. I only embraced my color in college. The only time I feel really American is when I am abroad. I hoped that my children would grow up in a better world. They won’t.