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I grew up attending a segregated school - a place that shouldn't exist in our era, but does. A school that had separate lunch tables, separate bleachers at football games, and separate ballots. My seven-year old brain could not comprehend why my best friend Kerria’s name was not listed under mine when we both ran for class favorite, but it was instead under a ballot reading “Black class favorite.” I didn’t understand why she sat opposite of me, on the visitor’s side, at football games. “It’s just the way things are.” My mother’s words offered me no comfort, only irritating me greater and pushing me to find answers.
I always met Kerria in the red dirt at those games, where our failed attempts at sand castles and Mississippi mud pies spurred the beginning of a friendship that will withstand the test of time. Sadly, I did not meet a person of Asian ethnicity until I was fourteen years old, when I visited my cousins in Texas and they took me out for Chinese food. My small hometown of Waynesboro, Mississippi is not culturally diverse and until recently, had no Asian restaurants or Asian residents. This town offers no help in the advancement of minority groups, and the town’s people, who have grown up being taught to hate, are not...
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