Digital Story

Overcoming Prejudice

“Everybody knew who I was just based on how I looked and my name spread like wildfire…And it was really nice to see like a lot of people really liked how I looked.”

-Jude Onuoha

Jude’s Story

After years of bullying, Jude Onuoha, currently a rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill, learned to embrace what made him different and found acceptance at college. Jude is a first generation Nigerian with 3 brothers. For a time, he did not notice that his peers viewed him as different because his eldest brother is also albino. After seeing kids with their families and facing instances of discrimination, he decided to ask his parents. That is when he found out that he was albino.

What is albinism

Albinism is a condition that causes a person to make a decreased amount of melanin, which determines the pigmentation of the body, hair and eyes. This condition is passed down throughout the family through the mutation of genes involved in the production of melanocytes.

The most well-known symptom of albinism is having pale skin, light-colored eyes and white hair. However, pigmentation can vary including tan skin; blonde, red, or light brown hair; and eyes ranging from light blue to green or even light brown.

A few words on how it feels to be a person with albinism

Because of these small differences in appearance, people with albinism have faced unspeakable types of persecutions in other countries and plenty of discrimination here in the United States simply because of how they look. In the past, albino people have been subject to dehumanization because people viewed them as supernatural beings or as inhuman. Many people with albinism have been shunned by their communities and experience people laughing and recording them, pointing and staring, and harsh insults.

The Bigger Picture

Discrimination, bullying, prejudice-These are all things that many people across various clevages. One in 5 students experienced bullying and 61% of employees in the United States have seen or experienced discrimination. experience based on their physcial appearance. Although Jude’s experience is completely unique to him, many people throughout the country have to endure cruelty from others. Because of this it is important to teach 2 things: kindness and self-love.


Kindness is more than being nice to other people. Kindness is about respecting the differences between oneself and others. Implementing acceptance of changes and acceptance of differences in schools could help stop discrimination. The implementation of inclusion and diversity training in the workplace can also help. In college, Jude was met with wonder and kindness instead of ignorance and fear. This helped him realize that he wasn’t weird or even that different from everyone else, despite others making him feel that way.


In Jude’ story, “Embracing Albinism,” he speaks encouraging words to younger kids with albinism telling them that being albino is a good thing. It is beautiful and different. It is important that people who do not fit the social standard of beauty to realizes that they are their own type of beautiful, and they shine because of their differences. Although self-love does not cover up the problem of bullying in discrimination, having confidence in oneself can stop the effects of bullying. Try these 3 things:

  • Be kind to yourself as you would other people
  • Prioritize yourself
  • Be forgiving with yourself


Jude advises people to ask themselves these question before asking others in order to avoid making people uncomfortable or offending them. He invites them to research the questions first to gain a better understanding about it and avoid inconveniencing the subject of the question.

If you would like to know more about Jude’s story, click here

Author’s note

Being around Jude and watching the stares, the comments, even the pictures being taken of him, bounce off of him is why I chose this story. I never seen someone so unbothered and confident within themselves despite constantly having people treating him differently. It was admirable. I think it is an important story to tell because many people have never seen someone who looks like him, and I want them to be reminded that we are all humans who should be treated with dignity and respect. Jude took what made him the subject of bullying and used it to love himself and encourage others. It is something we all should do.