Chapter 1. You Have a Choice

When I was growing up as one of six children (two of whom were disabled) in Whitesboro, New Jersey, a small black community surrounded by a predominately white community, the catch-phrase was, “Nothing good ever comes out of Whitesboro.”

My childhood was tough at times. My two disabled brothers seemed to get all the attention, and as a kid, I didn’t know how to deal with that. I was also teased, and my family was called names. I felt a lot of shame through all of this. People put labels on me and called me by those labels—some linked to my disabled brothers, some race-based. So, I had this internal fight going on as I resisted labeling myself, but still wondered, “What if I am?” That led to negative feelings, and ...

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