Stories of Culture – rue21 Associates Share Coming of Age Moments 

Our associate spotlight series has been a highlight of our Black History Month celebration. We hope you’ve enjoyed these stories as much as we have. Keep your eye out for even more content coming soon! Next up, our associates share coming-of-age moments from their lives.  

Is there a coming-of-age moment that you can share with us? 

“I was 14 years old, and it was the first time I saw the movie called “Ruby Bridges”. It’s based on the true story about a 6-year-old girl who becomes the first African American to integrate her school. It is a very emotional and educational movie. I remember watching this movie and crying with a range of emotions because I couldn’t picture myself living through what Ruby went through and the hatred she received at the tender age of 6. This movie was and still is an eye opener. This movie speaks volumes on choosing to be kind, choosing to love, and keeping the faith through all the hate.” Cheri Mae Ebuen-OBrien Store #1621 

“When I was 16, I got my license. I also got my first car at the age of 16 as well.” TuRon Hughes Store #1457  

“I am fortunate to have loving parents and a supportive cast of adults in my life. The moment I realized the injustice Black Americans have faced, and continue to face in some circumstances, was when I read about the tragedy of Emmet Till.” Nate Parker Store #345 

“When I got into middle school, I grew to have a love and passion for my culture.” Jasper Graves Store #787 

“When I was in the 6th grade, my mother had to sit me down and remind me that because of the color of my skin, I have to go about life in a different way.” Chaprelle Wanton 392 

“My coming of age story is when I first started to do my natural 4c hair by myself. 4c hair was said to be “bad hair” while I was growing up because it was so hard to maintain. But as much as I wanted to give up, I embraced my hair and started to try new things with it. It helped me a lot with my self-confidence and now I know, no hair is bad hair.” Nicole Wilson Store #769 

“In the era we are in, many people are now realizing the contributions of Black inventors and equality for their recognition.” Shannon Johnson Store #1631  

“I’ve always been a darker-skinned Black woman and growing up there were always challenging times, but my family did an awesome job with teaching me to love the skin I’m in. So, in middle school, I made it a thing to stick up for those being teased for the differences and by the time I made it to high school, I had a bunch of friends.” Nityra Tyra White Store #206  

“Well going through the customs of a Black American family and seeing how everything around you is impacted because of the color of your skin, or the texture of your hair, there were a few to say the least, but one that really opened my eyes was a personal one. My parents are strict, and I still live with them because I’m 18 years old and still in high school. Growing up with them was and still is tough. They take great care of me granted, but emotionally, not so well. It didn’t take long for me to be independent and start speaking up for myself. I think that came to be when I was 14 years old.” Jaimya Evans Store #819  

“My childhood after being separated from my dad’s side of the family was filled with abuse and self-hatred as my siblings and I were the only people of color. When I moved out and started working at a beauty supply store, I learned more about myself and more about my culture. It also helped me find myself spiritually.” Laila Watson Store #819  

“Just seeing the hardship Black people went through.” Brittney White Store #1012  

Share your most memorable coming-of-age moments from your own lives in the comments. Follow us on social media to keep up to date on all our Black History Month celebrations and to show off how you styled our Stories of Culture collection!  

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