Tell your story: Staff Sgt. Latrisha Skinner
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- My late grandfather influenced me by the way he lived. He never told me something he didn't live by. Though my grandfather was in the Army, he taught me the wingman concept well before I thought about joining the military and he also instilled in me to always do what is right just because it's right.
One thing my grandfather said that stands out to me is, "It's not what someone calls you, it's what you answer to." This helped me to see that despite other people's judgments, stereotyping and criticism, I have to move forward by being who I am. I don't allow other people's actions or words dictate how I act or who I am.
Being an example for others to embrace their culture and history is the biggest way that I can bring awareness to my own culture. I am proud of my heritage and the things that were accomplished to help me advance. Acknowledging all the positive influences that came before me and paved the way is imperative. I personally don't observe African American Heritage Month only one month out of a year. Being an African American woman is my life. I strive to live a positive life, not only for my daughter, but for any other human being I come in contact with.
If a person has a sense of pride in where they come from, I believe they can become better and successful in where they are going.
Editor's Note: Throughout February, Airmen across Misawa will share their thoughts on how African American history and culture have inspired them, and how they celebrate the month-long observance.