As an African American child growing up in the segregated South, I was told, one way or another, almost every day of my life, that I wasn’t as good as a white child. When I went to the movies with other black children, we had to sit in the balcony while the white kids got to sit in the better seats below. We had to walk to school while the white children rode in school buses paid for by our parents’ taxes. Such messages, saying we were inferior, were a daily part of our lives. But I was blessed with parents who taught me not to let anyone make me feel like I wasn’t good enough, and as my mother told me, “You are just as good as anyone else. You get an education and try to be somebody. Then you won’t have to be kicked around by anybody, and you won’t have to depend on anyone for your livelihood, not even a man.”