Little Black Girl from Norfolk

Who is this girl?

That girl being me. For so very long I struggled with my identity. I constantly wanted things that apparently normal little black girls didn’t want. I wanted to listen to music that people with my skin color didn’t listen to. I was attracted to boys who weren’t the same skin color as me, and I primarily dressed like a boy, probably from the many years that I was told I looked like one (I still do get mistaken for one at times).

I was tormented everyday for wanting these things. I was told that these weren’t things that I should want. That I was white. Like one color could define what a whole ethnicity acts like. I was branded as things like “Oreo” and the “white sheep” of the family. People would look at me weird when I told them the things that I liked, and when ever I said I had a boyfriend I was consistently asked, “Is he white?”

Like any of that matters, right?

Well, it mattered to me.

I cared so much about what people thought of me that I tried hard to change. I wanted everyone to be proud to know me, and to love who I was. So I changed and changed and changed, until about freshman year in high school. I would be waking up in the morning and having no clue who I was or what I was even in to. I hated all the music on my MP3 player. I wanted my hair to be longer, and flow. I hated everything in my closet, and for goodness sakes, who the hell am I talking to in my inbox! I’m not even in to him! I was having a severe identity crisis.

I wanted to listen to my favorite song and sing it loud for everyone to hear.i wanted to wear that outfit I loved, I wanted to straighten my hair so I could wear it down. I wanted to talk to that guy I’ve had a crush on since the 3rd grade. I wanted to be me.

And I started to not care what that meant to other people. I wanted to be confident enough in who I was to face my peers through out the day. Slowly but surely, I gained that confidence. I grew out of the little black girl from Norfolk, and became Catherine Holmes from Confidence Town, USA.

And now I’m completely happy with who I am. I jam out to Alternative music, and I dress how I want. I eat things I like, and I’ve dated only guys that I find attractive. I embrace being the different one in my family, and as it turns out that’s not really the case anymore. I now have two other sisters that have evolved and listen to the same music I do. I let them call me white, so I can reply with, “What is that? How can I act a color?” Just to watch them squirm uncomfortably. I wasn’t acting white, I was being Catherine.

Never try to suppress who you are to make others happy. At the end of the day your opinion is all that matters. Do what makes you happy. If it makes you different from everyone else, well, then welcome to the club.



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  1. Cat~ I have told you many time before, and will tell again, you are and AMAZING young woman! I have known you since you were a very little girl with long lanky legs and knobby knees. 🙂 I have watched you grow and struggle at times. Although you may not know it, I have seen you fall and get right back up dusting the dirt off and look straight int the eye of the “thing” which made you fall and say with every ounce of conviction you could muster, “NO, I am ME! And you will not keep me down!” I have watched you grow and evolve into one of the most strong, brave and and courageous young women I know. You are truly beautiful, inside and out. For anyone who doesn’t see that, or wishes for you to change to fit their ideal of what a young black woman should be, I say they are the fool and the one who is losing out on knowing you JUST AS YOU ARE! I am very blessed to know you. You are AMAZING just as you are!! Do you~ Always!

    Michelle J.


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