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In 1975, my parents divorced and I moved to Oakland, California to live with my Mom. Up until that time, I only knew I was an American. It wasn’t until I was six years old that I learned what it meant to be an African American. I really didn’t know anything about discrimination until we moved to Lexington, Kentucky. In Lexington, we were the only African American family in our neighborhood and the only Black kids who were not bussed to school. Those experiences fueled my passion to stand up for equality and justice.
Being raised in a U.S. diplomatic community, I learned that the most important thing about me was that I was an American, and that being an American was very special.
After Turkey, we moved to Morocco, and then to Syria.
After serving in the U.S. Navy, my Father joined the United States Foreign Service. I was born while the family was posted in Turkey.
They were married in 1963.