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How Skin Color Affects Students (Part I)

Kameron Lee, Staff Writer

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Being that Hayward is the third most diverse city in the country, it is no surprise that personal experiences vary–especially at Hayward High School where the campus thrives on diversity. So the question is: What exactly does skin color have to do with personal experience?

To  fully understand this I went out and interviewed a few students from Hayward High, and they provided me with their own personal experiences. By percentage, Hayward High is majority latino and African American, so the challenge was to find those students who aren’t represented as much.

Ricky Rogers : “ As a white student people just assume that I get everything handed to me. But they need to realize that there isa difference between bei ng rich and white, and then being poor and white. As for my own personal experiences, because everyone does think that I am privileged, I have to work just as hard as most people, who are not white, because people just assume that everything just gets handed to me, but that is not the case.”

Victor Barrera: “ People commonly mistake my race for Salvadoran but I am Mexican. But my skin color doesn’t really affect my personal life though, just the way I communicate with others, and it makes me question the appropriate way to correct them.”

Malakai Donis:  Malakai is mixed with African American and Italian, but because of his skin tone, he reports that “Because of my skin tone I do have strangers that will treat me differently or talk to me as if I’m dumb or belittle me because I am darker than them. I just wish that things could be different and that I was judged based on my character not looks.”

Kalaya Jesse: Kalaya is Jewish and black. When asked how her own skin color affected her personal experiences she said that “When people find out my race they call me drake or big nosed. But because I am light skin many people feel that I have no problems in life, even though that is not true. Also, people assume that I have good hair because I am mixed.


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How Skin Color Affects Students (Part I)