Black in America


Taqwaa Saleem

My last entry in "Black in America" was at the beginning of the six weeks before Easter known as Lent.

I didn’t write in that time of fasting and praying because I was trying my best to decrease so that my thoughts could increase and be expressed more clearly.

As the Easter holiday was just celebrated, I’m excited to write again, much more in tune with where my mind and heart are centered.

One of the most distinct realizations in my life right now is the individuality of people.

My graduate school colleagues and I share the journey towards a common degree but we do not share mindsets and methods for achievement.

What becomes increasingly apparent daily is the necessity of being comfortable in your own skin.

I am made in the likeness and the image of a higher being but I am the only me to walk this Earth.

Being Black in America, being human in America, is to understand the root of your opinions and the foundation for your individual morals and beliefs.

I’ve always been firm in positions on certain ethical or political situations, and I’ve also been able to appreciate the individuality of my opinion.

We may not always agree with family, friends, or co-workers but we must remember to respect their right to differ in thoughts.

Don’t we want our thoughtful opinions to be respected even if they aren’t popular?

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears spoke at a recent lecture sponsored by Georgia Southern.

One of her powerful points was sharing how she felt when her minority opinions were often rejected or questioned by those in disagreement or those possibly seeking to diminish her spirit.

She spoke of the importance of commanding your own space and realizing that minority positions are worthy of the same respect as widely shared opinions, especially when those thoughts are soundly based and carefully considered.

People aren’t always going to like you or agree with you.

For some, that fact is a harder pill to swallow than for others but its reality.

As a woman in progress, I’m constantly learning about myself and my place in this world.

One of the things I know for sure is that I am the only one who can be the best me.

Not everyone will like what I say and do but I will always do my best and try to think before I speak.

While one of my newest mentors and I were talking at a recent formal event, she reminded me that we need to make our haters our motivators and never cease in the press towards greatness.

Taqwaa Saleem is a native ofSavannah, and a graduate of Savannah State University. Currently, she is a grad student at Georgia Southern University.

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