I was only 8 years old.
The day was July 16th.
The year was 1977, three decades ago, when I sat in the very same space I sit now, looking up with hope and amazement at the beautiful caramel-skinned woman on my parents' TV set.
That's what the sash across Janelle Commissiong's body said, and from that day forward, Trinidad came to stand for not only some exotic isle of untold delights, but a land that showed me all things were possible for a young black girl like me.
This newfound awareness was only further solidified when Janelle -- born in Port-of-Spain -- won and became the first black woman to wear that Miss Universe crown.
That night something changed within me. I've run with it ever since...