In The Spotlight: KeNosha Robinson
Greetings, beautiful people!
My name is KeNosha Robinson, and I am a recent Master of Divinity graduate from Oral Roberts University. Humbly, yet proudly born a woman with albinism, my life’s journey has been uniquely wonderful, yet profoundly challenging. I often marvel at the mysterious creativity of God that, on March 9, 1988 at 11:16AM, he chose me to be the one out of 17,000 others who would inherit such an intriguing genetic condition. There had to have to been an awesome reason for him doing so, right? Right. However, I was not always sure of God’s pure intentions towards me when he allowed me to be born with albinism. Growing up in Mississippi as a little black girl who looked white, I thought albinism was a cruel joke that God was playing on me. Now, after eight years of a process of revolutionary inner healing, I know that having albinism was a great blessing in disguise.
All the physical limitations of albinism pales in comparison to the emotional and social effects it causes. As a young girl until age 16, I barely coped with the rude stares, thoughtless questions, callous teasing, and the social isolation and awkwardness. The social effects were the worse. The isolation could be prompted by anything. One day, I would be isolated due to my having to sit in the shade with my teacher during recess. Other times, people did not want to play or hang out with me simply because of their personal discomfort due to my distinctive appearance. I am grateful to have had parents and a family who were especially supportive, encouraging, and accepting during those years. But, even, they had their harmless jokes. During those early years, one could describe my state of being as brokenhearted, with a crushed spirit and dangerously low self-esteem. Mirrors, or anything in which I could see my reflection, were the bane of my existence.
At age 16, I arrived at a crossroads. Either I would get healed of the inner turmoil and get on with my life, or I would certainly self-destruct. I chose the former. I decided to begin focusing on cultivating exceptionally beautiful characteristics within myself, such as loving, encouraging, and giving to others. That beauty grew from the inside to the outside of me. What a makeover! I was a classic case of the biblical proverb, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Optimism inundated my perspective of myself, others, and the world around me. If my albinism made me stand out, then I decided I would be outstanding! If my albinism made people stare, then I decided I would smile! If my albinism made people ask me ignorant questions, then I decided I would graciously educate them! And, not to seem vain, but, now, I never meet a mirror that does not gladly make my acquaintance. J Thus, what I once considered a tragedy became one of the most phenomenal triumphs of my life. Yet, it is, indeed, a process, and the process continues. Obstacles still emerge and struggles do persist, but my renewed perception makes all the difference in how I approach those obstacles and deal with those struggles.
Lastly, having albinism has opened extraordinary doors for me, doors that would have been closed to someone with an ordinary look and an ordinary story. I did not choose albinism, but, in some strange, miraculous way, I feel as if it chose me. Now, I am able to tell others that there is hope and healing in a world racked with adversity and pain. Albinism was a powerful card among many that I was dealt. Once I played this card, with boldness, style, and humility, I begin to win in the game of life. Now, my life’s mission is the assure others that, with the right tools and attitude, they, too, can be victorious. When featured in the Fall 2008 “We All Walk in Different Shoes” Kenneth Cole fashion campaign, the writers introduced me by saying, “This is Miss Robinson. She has always been judged by the color of her skin. After all, being white in America is tough, when you’re black.” Yes, albinism has made my life tough, but it has also made me tough. And, it has made me an advocate for all those who need to know that they are valuable. So, I wholeheartedly concur with the infamous quote of preachers everywhere, “There was a time when I asked the Lord, “Why me?” and, then, I thought, “Why not me?”
Peace, love, and joy,