Check out the January winning entry in the grade 9-12 level.
It was a bright day, but that was only an excuse to wear sunglasses. The entrance to the hell I would be spending the rest of the school year was only a few feet away, it felt like miles away. It looked so damn far. It was like those dreams where you can't reach your destination no matter how fast you run, just like that.
I kept my pace steady, head up, and eyes forward. I was desperate to block out all comments from everyone around me. I tried to block out the voices, the insults, and the people gathered around me. Most of the insults were familiar to me, and I had prepared to hear them. But they got creative; I hadn't heard it all before. I didn't know any of these people; I had never seen them before. They hated me and they didn't even know me. All they knew was that I was "one of them colored folk" and I would be sharing classrooms with their kids. Teachers had even quit, they refused to teach a Negro. Parents had taken kids out of school. I was some kind of disease.
The door was still far. I wanted to turn and run home. I thought of dad that morning and how he begged me to stay strong. "No tears baby," he would say if he was with me. But he wasn't. I wished I could be invisible, disappear, anything that would make them stop staring. I laughed, knowing how impossible that was. As long as they noticed that I was several shades darker than them, they wouldn't look passed me. Tears built up in my eyes, good thing I wore sunglasses. I was near crying. But not in front of them. I had to maintain composure. Pride was a strong motivator. They were expecting me to fail and they would smile when I did. No way in hell would I give them that satisfaction. I was here now, I would succeed, I would walk through those doors regardless of what they were yelling.