A fear of mine is bringing kids into this hate filled world. My children are biracial, black and white mix, and I fear for how they’ll be treated because of it. I’m from the city, San Diego, and when I say that a lot of people think of palm trees and pretty beaches. San Diego is a lot more than palm trees and beaches honey. I was born into a world of race wars, police brutality and discrimination long before black lives matter. Drive an hour north of where I’m from and you’re in the area known for the Rodney King incident. The VERY next exit on the freeway after mine is the Mexican border.  Have you ever been to Tijuana? Hell on earth, after Chicago.

I was fortunate enough to get accepted to a performing arts school for 6th grade where I was one of maybe 5 black kids who attended the school. Everyone knew Shylah and it wasn’t for being the lead in every play. My articulation, natural beauty and mannerism weren’t what you’d expect from your average black girl. Till this day I’m always being told I’m very pretty for a black girl. I’m very well-spoken for a black girl. I’m smart for a black girl. I have a nice tone for a black girl. What the hell is that? Why can’t I just be pretty? Why can’t I just have good hair? Why can’t I just have a nice complexion? Why does my race have to matter? That’s just the world we live in I guess.

I always wonder, will my kids get the short end of the stick because they’re half black or will they have an advantage because they’re half white? Will the police give them a chance because they’re dad’s white or will they treat them like the average black person they’re mom’s black? Will kids pick on them because their hair is different? Little shit like that. I just want them to have a fair chance in life. I want them to know they can do and be whatever they want and not have to worry about the things I did. Why do I feel as if they’ll never be safer than they are now, inside of me?

I know my limitations and despite what anyone tells me, I’m not going to ignorantly set unrealistic goals for myself. I know my articulation sets me apart from your average African American which makes white people more willing to listen to what I have to say but I feel it’s only because they’re impressed with the fact I can speak so well. Are they really listening to me though?

I plan on opening a nonprofit organization for children who are and were trafficked and my outspokenness will really help me out when it comes time to do so. I just hope me being black doesn’t play a part in people’s willingness to not just hear me, but LISTEN to me. If they don’t, I’m sure they will if they’re daughters are being sold, considering we live in a world where human trafficking victims are considered, modern day slaves.


Published by ShylahBoss Lee