Meet Dawna-Diamond Tyson

Diamond was my student in English II Pre-AP about seven years ago. In December 2019, she graduated with a bachelor of science in criminal justice around the same time that she posted the following on Facebook. In recent weeks I’ve remembered her words time and again with a heavy heart.

At this hour… I am reminiscing on growing up. And my heart goes out to the people that are my age that experienced heavy bullying, and those that are younger than me attempting to deal with bullying. Growing up, I remember being told a countless number of times that I was “too dark.” I had a guy in elementary school tell me that I was so dark that there would never be a shade of makeup for my complexion, and he too was of my ethnicity and with a similar complexion. I remember being called an “ugly monkey,” by a white child in middle school because I didn’t know how to control my emotions and I thought that I was “in true like with him.” I remember being called “nothing but a slave,” by a kid that was bi-racial, after watching the movie Roots in class. At least once a week the kid would call me a slave name from the movie. I remember being bullied by a large amount of girls because I didn’t dress the same as them…

As a backstory…

This summer I had the opportunity to work with and speak amongst very prestigious and empowered young women in the NEW Leadership Texas Program. And within the week that I was honored to be in their presence, we learned that we all struggled, but we arrived and we are going to continue to arrive and make a positive impact on the world…

Back to the prior issue…

Eventually I grew up. I have said things out of insecurity and I built a barrier around me for so long because I didn’t want to get hurt… But… Eventually I realized that I had to find the real me and I had to remove all of the labels on my skin that had been plastered and rotting for years. I listened to my parents and grew up. I found out who I was, and what I was worth. And I’m still growing. To any kid or to any parent that has a child struggling with a bully, be there for them. Love them, and don’t let an insecure child strongly affect the mental state of you or a child. Support and love is really everything. Remember that you are loved.

I notice that Diamond never called the bullying racism. But it is. Instead I heard her say…

Support and love is really everything.

Dawna-Diamond Tyson
December 7, 2019

27 thoughts on “Meet Dawna-Diamond Tyson

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am reminded of the extremely powerful affect that all words can have on impact. Even when we speak the same language we all hear in a language of our own composition. Intentional use of words to cause suffering is one of the saddest things the human race has managed to develop.

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  2. What “humans” do to other humans to build themselves up, is anything but human. Diamond is well named for continuing to shine through all the bullying and hate. I wish we could all stop putting people down. Stay well Crystal. Allan

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    1. My pleasure, Rosaliene! Mean people haven’t taken her confidence. It has been a joy to stay connected on social media and watch her blossom. She’s another example of one of my favorite mantras—

      Our struggles strengthen us.

      I want to believe we are all being strengthened during 2020.

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    1. Hi Carol! I just saw your message and had to approve it. Hopefully it is working now. I’m working on a series for this topic. Hopefully I can recruit a few more voices. Thank you so much for spreading awareness.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Diamond is a true gem, an overcomer, a victorious woman! Though white, I also grew up poor. My parents and most of my teachers were encouragers, even when my hand-me-downs didn’t fit right or I didn’t have the two dollars needed to start my home economics project. But with God’s help, I rose above those voices that would put me down. Now, at age 75, I write stories from what I’ve seen over a lifetime–including little girls like Diamond. Praying for those who struggle in poverty no matter their race. Keep shining that victorious smile, Diamond. The world needs people like you!

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  4. This really broke my heart 💔. Diamond you are beautiful and lovely just the way you are. God created you in his image and in his likeness and no one absolutely no one can take that from you. We need to put an end to this bullying and racism. For crying out loud we are all human beings. It’s sad. But hey diamond I am rooting for you. Thank you for standing out, so much love to you 🤍

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  5. What an extraordinary will, and power too, Diamond has to have persisted despite it all. Also, what an special skill you have, Crystal, to find such talent and to encourage it. This is far from the first time it has happened, too, and approaches the miraculous in scope.

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    1. I’ve definitely been privileged when it comes to amazing kids in my classrooms, and I’ve learned from some of the BEST teachers along the way. Thanks always for your goodwill here, Keith!

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  6. Thank you for your post Crystal. We have immigrants from all over the world in Canada, and we need them. They bring so much to Canada, I remember getting to know a Vietnamese family on our street. The boys would come over and use my basketball hoop with my son. I would get out there and we all would have fun. The family was fun, and generous and we enjoyed them. They would have nights when all their friends came over and they had a big potluck. So cool.
    A big Vietnamese community is now in Calgary and they came from refugee camps probably 35 years ago. A lawyer who I met in Calgary told me her story, she and her husband are now lawyers on Calgary and they both were refugees. I admit I love vietnamese food and her and I had lunch together. It was a work trip and it was over too soon!

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  7. Diamond is an amazing and courageous woman. Her words are a heartbreaking and powerful truth that we still need to address the inequity in our country. What a strong and beautiful voice she has, and thank you Crystal for sharing this.

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  8. This post is so inspiring! My heart breaks for anyone who is bullied. I feel their pain because I too was bullied from grade six until I finally switched schools during my senior year. It got so bad that I attempted suicide at age 14 and almost didn’t make it. But luckily I survived the attempt and now, I use what I went through to help those who are bullied today. I believe in turning negatives into positives and if I can help one, just one bullied victim see their worth and go on living, then I know what I endured all those years ago wasn’t in vain. And I get healing and closure from it.

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