I hope that a change comes.

With all of the issues that we have faced in the past as an ethnic group, it has been more than difficult for many African-Americans to solicit help. Especially, when it pertains to our families. The closest some African-Americans have come to accepting help is health insurance. All other instances of help are unwarranted and declined.

When I was a senior in high school I heard a paradigm shifting statement from one of my classmates, as it pertains to people. I told him that I had been getting references for scholarship applications. He said, “who are you asking for references?” I told him which teachers I asked, they were both white women, teachers I had over the years. “You should never use white women as references. Never use a white woman or a black man.” I was confused as to why he gave me this answer. He was a black man himself. “Why not?” I asked. “Because, they’re looked at as weak and un-influential. If you want to use someone,” he added, “use a black woman or a white man. They are the figures of power and influence in America.”

By this time he had captured the audience of the other students around us and changed my thinking in one sitting. Could he be right? I took his advice and thought about it. I used my school as ground zero for research. The white women in my school were indeed looked at as weak and incapable. Even though they were highly educated teachers they tended to have less control over their class. Whenever someone in their classroom would become unruly they would pull out a referral, write them up and send them to the principal’s office. However, black women in my school would handle any behavioral problems themselves. Rarely needing the help of administration. The same being true for the white male teachers. There were no black male teachers at my school.

I started to look at the world around me. It wasn’t an absolute truth by any means but a substantial amount of his statement was true.

Even in my own life I have tried my hardest to live up to the strong, successful black woman mantra. I got the best grades, became a part of the best organizations, obtained a successful career, married an equally successful black man and am raising a beautiful black family. All of which is no easy task. You see pictures all over my social media outlets of my happy, successful, beautiful black family. But what you don’t see is the blood, sweat and tears that goes into building and maintaining such an empire.

This is not just true for my family but others like mine: successful, beautiful black women and their families. I look at their pages full of joy for their successes. For a second I think, she has it so easy, she’s doing a great job, I wish I had her this or that. But then, within that same second I realize how hard it is for me: the days I want to quit or give up, the days I wish I had a maid at least for a day. If I have it this hard with my little family, I can’t imagine how heavy her load is.

I don’t believe that a heavy load is a respecter of persons no more than God Almighty. By going to an international grad school and being a Marine wife I have seen women of all ethnicities work hard and serve selflessly for the people they love. I have seen them stretch themselves unbelievably thin to reach their goals and pursue their dreams.

I am proudly married to a black man. He has served in the United States Marine Corps for the past 11 years. He has served three combat tours all while completing his college education. I love seeing him in his dress blues. People will come up to him and say “thank you for your service” in which he replies, “thank you for your support. Yet, when it’s a casual day at the mall and he has on a Lacoste v-neck and Retro Jordans, he is wrongly prejudged. One day when we walked into a high-end, designer store here in Hawaii; he noticed that we were being followed. He was so upset, as was I. Those people had no clue that we make well over six figures a year. They merely judged a book by its’ cover.

With the turn of events that are happening in our nation: the many protests and die-ins. I hope that a change comes. I hope that America would lose any ignorant, hereditary racism and come to the astute conclusion that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.