Patrice's Blog: Loving the skin you are in - - The News for South Mississippi

Patrice's Blog: Loving the skin you are in

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - This is my first blog! I have to admit I am a little nervous about sharing my thoughts with the world. Some people will find this a bit strange because I report the news on television almost every night. As a reporter, your job is to report the facts, but this is stepping out of the box for me because this is all my opinion.

I pondered what I should write about for hours and hours, but nothing would pop in my mind. Suddenly, my topic just came to me like an epiphany. Actually, it was not that dramatic, but it sounds great to read.

Seriously, I decided to express my feelings about my African American people because we're coming off a month long celebration for my race. I was also inspired to write about this topic after covering a wonderful story of achievement at Northrop Grumman Shipyard.

The United States Navy honored the first African American Admiral in the country, Samuel Lee Gravely, Junior, this past week. I remember going to the event and listening to how this man fought for our country, but was still treated like a second class citizen. It was Gravely's drive that helped him knock down the roadblocks of racial inequality to become the first of his race to command a warship.

African Americans are still making big moves in 2010. Sometimes I feel the world only sees a tainted view of us because the focus may be on the percentage of our race that is locked up, on drugs, welfare, or uneducated. For a few minutes, I want you to clear your mind as I share with you the achievements and successes of my people.

From the cotton fields to the Supreme Court, African Americans have helped change society in a remarkable way. Let's start with the great Fredrick Douglas. He was born into the harsh reality of slavery, but he still became one of the chief activists for equality for all.

Then there's Mrs. Rosa Parks who was asked to give up her place on the bus because of her color. She said "No," and we now can sit in any seat we want on public transportation.

Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche was a political scientist professor and peace diplomat. What's so exceptional about Bunche is he's the first black to receive the Noble Peace Prize. The prestigious award was given to him for negotiating a peace settlement in the Arab and Jews' conflict in Palestine.

If you turn on the television nowadays, African Americans are on just about every channel. There's the phenomenal Oprah Winfrey, the "Queen of Talk" around the world. President Barack Obama is running the United States and doing a good job.

There are also history makers right here in South Mississippi to admire. Sheila Smallman is the first female chief of police in Moss Point, and Aniece Liddell is the first woman mayor in that city.

I even thank God for my achievements. I started out as a chubby little girl in the rough part of New Orleans with a dream. With a lot prayer, persistence and pride, I made my dream of being on television a reality.

These movers and shakers I mentioned loved themselves enough that they didn't let race define their destiny. Their determination should encourage everyone to be better, do better, and make a difference.

Every day I wake up and thank God for making me who I am and what I am. I hope as different cultures and races move forward in the future, we all stop concentrating on color, and start accepting the fact that we are made unique and beautiful in our own way.

I leave you with this important thought: all races and religions can appreciate and learn from each other, if we just throw away unnecessary hatred and pick up unconditional love.

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