Hello Everyone! My name is Nyla Choates, and I am the author, founder, and youth activist behind My Roots Are Rich! I am a 19 year old Sophomore at Spelman College, from Milpitas California. I have a passion for empowering, inspiring and educating people as well as fighting systemic racism within the education system.
This passion stemmed from thinking that my roots were not rich, due to the fact that when I opened the textbooks in school, I only saw and was taught the poorness of my roots– malnutrition, ebola, poverty. But when we turned to other chapters in our history books to learn about my classmates' continents, such as Europe, it showed all of their riches– beautiful architecture, royalty, and art that they stemmed from. Even outside of class my skin was being compared to dirt by my friends. This caused me to have even more self hate for not only myself, but also the roots that I came from.
After months of feeling inadequate to my counterparts in the classroom, I finally told my mother what I was going through. Luckily, she knew what I was being taught was false, and that I came from so much more than what the textbooks were showing me. So she put it upon herself to enroll me into outside programs that taught me my true history. These programs explained that we existed and thrived centuries before slavery. We were kings and queens, and even now are some of the most innovative inventors to exist. I was taught to love everything about myself and my roots. From the curl of my hair to the melanin in my skin, I learned to love it all! After getting educated, I wanted to open the eyes of the rest of the world and be the narrative of change that I wanted to see.
I will continue my efforts to use the My Roots Are Rich platform to ensure that children across the globe can live in a society where they can walk in a classroom and see representation in the schools and the books that they read.