Growing up African-American and having been born to Nigerian parents opened me up to a host of experiences about diversity. I remember spending time with my fellow African-American peers who teased me saying that my pronunciation was very proper or simply that ‘I talked White’. In contrast, when I was talking to White people, I often got the comment that my manner of speaking was not like that of a Black person for that matter. I, therefore, found myself confused not knowing exactly whether my speech was similar to White or Black people.
This realization made me think of why my speech, pronunciation, and articulation of words had to be categorized as either White or African-American. I kept asking myself why I should fit in either category and why I cannot be defined by what and who I am instead of the way I am speaking. Since that moment I understood that my eloquence in speech was characteristic that made me unique and, therefore, it is how I would want to be described as an eloquent person and not to be compared by either African-American or White people.
Henceforth, I prefer to apply my experience in the field dealing with communicative sciences and disorders. I observe that children with disabilities resulting in speech development problems are often categorized, for example, as a stammerer or mute. On the contrary, I believe that each of the children with such disabilities is special and that each of them has a unique voice. I chose to dedicate my career and life to teaching such children that their disabilities are not what defines them. I intend to use my experience to bring out the best in children and by doing so, make them know that each of them has a unique voice.
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