My whole family was a little nervous about the whole thing, mostly because we didn't know what to expect from this situation. We weren't sure if we'd like this guy, or get along with him, and most importantly, if we'd feel comfortable with him in our home. When he arrived, he was very shy and timid. He was probably the first true African I had ever seen in my life.
My parents have always taught my siblings and I to be very accepting of different religions, races, cultures, lifestyles, etc. We were taught to be open-minded and always respect others and their opinions, whether we agreed with them or not. We grew up knowing that everyone is equal and deserves the same opportunities as everybody else.
Having a black person in our home was not an issue of race. We were eager to get to know this person and welcome him into our family. We knew he would probably be overwhelmed coming to a new country and leaving his family behind, so we really tried to make him feel at home. It was a little difficult at first, because our cultures were so different. But after some time we started to adjust and get to know each other. Pretty soon, Kojo was a member of the family. In fact, everybody in my entire neighborhood was psyched about Kojo. He was super popular at church, people were always offering him rides and inviting him over for dinner. He was such a warm and friendly guy, that you just couldn't help but love him. Even at 12-years-old, I was impressed with the fact that race wasn't an issue when Kojo came to our little community.
The summer came to an end and it was time for Kojo to go to BYU-Hawaii. Everyone was very sad to see him go, especially me, because he had become like a brother to me. To this day, he is still treated like a member of my family.
Instead of focusing on the negatives aspects of racism in our country, I think it is also important to look at how far we've come. In this particular situation, a different race and culture were not only accepted, but happily embraced. We still have a long way to go, but I feel like we are moving in a positive direction with each generation.