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My first experience with Black History Month was in sixth grade.

I was so excited about auditioning for a part in my middle school's Black History Month program.

I am not African-American but the month still holds a special place in my heart.

In my Houston suburb elementary school I grew up thinking 'Mexican' was a bad word.

Although my elementary school had a spattering of Hispanic students at the time (early 1990s), I remembering feeling like I had to fit in with my white classmates as much possible.

None of us wanted to be the yellow Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger at recess.

It was all about Kimberly and her kickass gymnasts moves.

It wasn't until my family started taking my sister and I on trips to Mexico, I realized the true value of my Mexican-American roots.

By sixth grade I was over calling myself 'Hispanic' and embraced 'Mexican.'

I feel like this was a pretty powerful transition for someone to make at such a young age.

So when I found myself in the auditorium waiting to sing my selected song (which was a song about Jesus sacrificing himself on the Cross for all mankind) to the program director, I felt like I truly belonged.

Don't ask me about the thought-process behind my song selection.

If I were ever to get another do-over opportunity to sing at a Black History program, I'd probably choose "Mississippi Goddam" by the great Nina Simone.