"As you all know, our president is Barack Obama a Kenyan American. That's quite a large step for us in America. But of our 44 presidents, not one has been a woman. However, here in Liberia, you all have the first female African president. That's a major milestone! It's something that should make you proud to be Liberian. And you know what else? While I am proud to be American, sometimes I wish I knew a little more about where my forefathers came from. It would be nice to know if I was Liberian or Nigerian or where specifically in Africa my ancestors hailed from. You all have that. Most of you can trace your ancestry back much farther than I can. That is something most of us Black Americans do not have. Be grateful for that."
One of the students, stood quietly and said somewhat shyly, "We have decided. You are Liberian. You are one of us, sister." At which point...I erupted into a sack of tears and snot. It was a very kind gesture on their part and representative of the treatment I'd received the entire time I was there. I was looked at with curiosity, but somewhat like a prodigal daughter.