In answer to the Day 14 Question “Do you ever find yourself turning your race “up” or “down” depending on who you’re with?”
Yes, almost every day at work when I am in a meeting with executives. Given that I am the first and only Black employee in myunit, I have the profound effect of causing heads to turn when “they” (non-Black executives) realize that the person to whom they were speaking on the phone is Black, cause massive “meeting confusion” and hysteria when they (mainly white folks) realize I am not there to take notes as their secretary but am indeed a “real” executive myself, and I even have the power to somehow suddenly inspire “them” (non-Blacks) to begin using racial slang and giving high-fives during these executive meetings. Hell — I’ve noticed that our CIO even changes the manner of his walk when he sees me — his walk begins to take a kind of staggered gate, dragging one foot behind him, and doing a pretty good imitation of “Huggie Bear” from the old Starsky & Hutch series. Straight embarrassing.