“This young man was in my Spanish class over 10 years ago.
In a world that told him he would not amount to much because he was a black boy, he kept going.
In a society that told him he was not worth much because he wore his pants a bit low, he kept going.
In a town that told him dreadlocks meant he would not be able to accomplish much, he kept going.
He defied the odds, and then he crushed them.
He drives a Silverado with wheels so big you would think he was appearing in a Monster Truck Rally.
While he is a fan of rap music, he actually enjoys all music, even country.
He cooks his meals with Spanish black beans and reads the words of Mandela and the Bible.
He is a jack of all trades.
He is much more than the color many cannot see past.
When he graduated from college, I cried.
One day, he messaged me asking for a reference, ‘Miss Silva, I’m applying for both my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Science in Public Health.’
I cried again.
I left that classroom many years ago, but the students that changed my life are forever in my heart.
He is one of them.
The dreads are still there.
Sometimes, he still wears his pants a little low.
His name is Robert, and he is much more than black. My hope is the world sees this too.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Aliette Silva. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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