Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others

As a careless child with no worries besides what my Barbie was wearing to our next tea party, I never cared enough about appearance or culture to be bothered by the clear difference between me most of my classmates. Despite the various lessons we had on slavery in the South or the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I did not know what it meant to be black or that I would soon have to face personal challenges because of it. However, while entering my preteen years, my eyes were peeled open and I was forced to become more aware of both the physical and cultural differences of everyone around me. Our various lifestyles were becoming a lot more obvious and now I had to deal with people questioning what part of Africa Jamaica was in and telling me to stay out of the sun to prevent from getting any darker.

My exposure to mass media played a big part in becoming more self-aware as well. I now began to notice how the default character in video games was Caucasian, and how the black actresses that received the most recognition were usually light-skinned. I became aware of the epidemic that was taking over many parts of Jamaica – bleaching, and of the fact that my own relatives would lose their identities, shame their country of birth, and travel...

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