As an African American teenager . . .

Christopher Wilson | Contributor

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JANUARY, 2017

Young Voices

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When most people look at me, they’ve already made up their minds on what type of person I am and, most likely, what I will become in the near future. It’s the natural human instinct that makes us judge- to a certain degree- on those that we don’t know.

For me, stereotypes have been a good and bad thing in my life, but it has not made me regret being who I am today, because it goes to show how much color the world still needs today. An example of this would be sports. As an African American teenager, I’ve never been thrilled with the idea of playing “major sports” such as baseball, football, or even basketball, but I have had a zeal for creative writing, reading novels of different genres, and listening to the beat of modern-pop singers to smooth jazz tones.

Christopher Wilson is a student at Overton High School, CAPA Creative Writing Program

When I first started to write, I was only in elementary school. I was inspired to write a book and I remember sketching different illustrations of what was going to be in my it on the living room floor of my house with my imagination racing away at what I could create using my own two hands. As time flew by, I was enrolled at Colonial Middle School, which was a school that had Creative and Performing Arts classes for students that had a special talent in a given area. Throughout my three years, I’ve been taught many disciplines in Creative Writing and I still am as of today in high school. These things helped me to accomplish many goals I wouldn’t have ever imagined I could do as a teenager. Currently, I have held on to the promise to have my own novel finished and published by the time I graduate high school.

At times, doubt may cloud my mind; however, I have surrounded myself with family and friends who truly look out for the well-being of others and are willing to help without asking for anything in return.

Although I have an extremely busy schedule with school and extracurriculars, I still manage to allocate time to read because it helps to not only give me inspiration with the novel series I’m writing but provides relaxation for me from the amount of schoolwork and tests I deal with weekly. Some of my favorite genres of novels would be Young Adults, Science Fiction, and Mystery. I have challenged myself to explore different genres of novels and surprised myself when I saw how the authors of these books took a basic concept and built upon it so that it made the work unique. If I hadn’t maintained a steady- and sometimes unsteady- reading life, then I may not have learned certain aspects of writing from these authors.

Finally, there is music. Music has been a catalyst to my system that aids me in getting a job done. Whether it’s a homework assignment or simply just to get away from life, it keeps me jubilant. Another talent I discovered- though it was known that I had it- was the ability to play the piano, which isn’t an instrument you can learn to play overnight, but instead, it has to be practiced every day to formulate certain disciplines. Reminiscing over the past four years of playing the piano, I have been able to listen to different songs on the radio and hear the beautiful melodies a piano can create: melodies of love and sorrow, of sadness and regret, and of healing and memories.

Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson

Student and Writer | Overton High School

I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious
university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

These are the things that I have always held a steady passion for in my life and that have never wavered. Some other things that I have peaked an interest in would be the different Teen Advisory Boards that I am a part of in the City of Memphis, such as UCAN of Memphis and the Shelby County Mayoral Youth Council. In school, I have the responsibility of being the President over my entire Sophomore Class, the President and Chairman of Leadership Development over a club named Club B.A.S.I.C., which stands for Brothers and Sisters Improvement Club, and many more leadership positions throughout my school. At times, doubt may cloud my mind; however, I have surrounded myself with family and friends who truly look out for the well-being of others and are willing to help without asking for anything in return. In response, I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

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