Story Submitted by Afsaneh Noori

When I was growing up, I loved the summer and played in the sun all day. My skin would tan, the color of mocha. On day, when I was around 5 years old, I overheard a relative say, “Afsaneh, just like her father, is as black as a cockroach.” That made me feel ugly and I believed that I was ugly. That year, my father traveled to the US and brought the larger doll back (the small one was from a later trip). When I saw it, I asked if it was for me. He said, “No it is not. This is a black doll and you said that black skin is not pretty.” I said, “but she is pretty.” Then my dad asked, “so are you pretty too?” I said, “yes” and he gave me the doll. She’s been with me for 60 years, reminding me of my father teaching me to value myself.