Although I was born in the United States, shortly after my birth, I moved to Nigeria to live with my grandparents for the first eight years of my life. It was in the third grade when I was finally in America to live with my mother. I was 9 years old attending Woodrow Wilson School in New Brunswick, New Jersey and I had my first crush. He was mixed, black and Hispanic, light skinned with that smooth type of hair. He was also my best friend. I was always him and our other friend Alexis. We hung out at lunch and clowned around in class. I don’t remember the exact date but I vividly remember the location. It was lunch time. The space we used for lunch was also used as a gym or theater, depending on the day and time. All three of us sat on the roll out tables with small round chairs attached and ate lunch like we always did. That particular day, my crush mentioned that he liked a girl, as Alexis and I tried to guess who this girl was; I secretly hoped it was me. Alexis mentioned my name almost in a whisper. At that moment, the words that came out of my crush’s mouth changed my life forever. He said, “I will never like a girl as dark as you”. I did not know how to feel, he was my friend; my very good friend and I didn’t think he meant to hurt me. Although I just laughed it off, I was hurt and this was the first time I realized I was black, not only black, but dark too. This was my second year in America and I quickly found out from the other black kids that I was black, different from white people and different from light skinned black people. To them, this was ugly. I distinctly remember asking myself, “wait, I’m black?” and when the made fun of my height and stature, I asked “I’m tall and skinny?” These were words used to describe me that I had never in my life heard. Living in Nigeria for 8 years, I was surrounded by black, tall and skinny people. They were my family and I thought we were normal. But America gave me a bitter and large pill to swallow. Here, people are defined by how light or dark their skin is. Race is everywhere and put into everything. You cannot run from it. Other races will judge you and so will your race.