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For every person throughout history looking to accomplish greatness, they’ve always had their nah-sayers and doubters (or haters, by today’s standards). Bullying isn’t a new epidemic and has been around since probably the dawn of mankind. Still it doesn’t make it excusable and many people suffer in silence. Pop Superstar Rihanna was teased in school because of her skin color, Chris Rock used the bullying he encountered during his childhood to become a comedy legend and even the 44th President of The United States of America, Barack Obama was bullied in school. These people and people like them didn’t let bullying slow them down and often used it as fuel on their roads to success.
Young actress Marsai Martin has even experienced her fair share of bullying and despite being so young, she’s already managed to achieve so much. Marsai Martin plays the smart, sassy and adorable youngest daughter Diane Johnson on the hit ABC sitcom Black-ish. In the series, Marsai co-stars with Hollywood veterans Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne. The show recently received an NAACP image Award and Marsai, herself, has been nominated for a Young Artists Award.

Marsai learned at an early age to choose her friendly wisely. Being on a hit weekly sitcom, Marsai has chosen to only make friends with peers that aren’t as aware of her success or know that she’s on TV. It sounds harsh hearing it especially from someone who’s so young but it makes sense even by adult standards.

Having a natural talent for acting at 5 years old, Marsai’s parents looked to nurture her creative talents in the best way possible. Sadly, some of Marsai’s peers weren’t so accepting.  Marsai recalled her most recent experience with bullying back when she lived with her family in Plano, TX. When Marsai was in school, another girl in her class often made fun of her because she knew of Marsai’s love for acting.  One incident in particular stood out, Marsai was wearing a bracelet her mother brought her to school during lunch.  The bully broke Marsai’s bracelet and taunted her with racial remarks.   Despite it being a while ago, it was still a painful experience for Marsai, who is now 10 years old, to talk about. Now Marsai co-stars on a hit show, inspiring the lives of millions of people each time she lights up the TV screen with a bright future in Hollywood ahead of her.

Marsai’s advice to fans and readers, “Stand up for yourself, never give up  and tell someone what’s going on if you’ve been bullied. Don’t be silent about it.”

Readers and fans can reach Marsai Martin on Twitter @cailamarsai and Instagram @marsaisworld. Be sure to check your local TV listings to catch Marsai on Black-ish.

written by A.D.

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