In answer to the Day 1 Question “When Did You First Realize You Were Black (or X)?”
I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood. So I never really thought about my skin color too much.
My mother would send my brother and I to summer camp, and I would be exposed to some of the suburban kids. Because we were all friends, It never dawned on me that I was any different than any of them because of my skin color. Even had a few girlfriends and first kisses out there that weren’t black.
Went to a really good private school that was also predominantly black, so I can say my mother took good care of us.
Even though she made sure we had our education, there were a few times that I was made to feel I wasn’t black because I wore Old Navy and couldn’t afford throwback football jerseys. Or because I struggled to “bag mad bitches.”
Then came college, where I ran cross country. Moving from a school in Newark, to a small college, in the middle of Nowhere on PA. That was life changing. I first realized “they” were different, when I went to parties, and people didn’t dance, but they played some game called beer-pong. I assimilated and I became the best beer pong player I could be, but I realized it was different because my thought of a good party was people dancing. I realized I was black when they asked me to crip walk, I obliged them and taught some of them.
One instance, there was a really hot girl, where my teammates said she might be take a liking to me. took the time to teach her some moves, and tried to take it a step further, and she told me she couldn’t date me because I was black. That was somewhat of a pain in my heart. Not only because she was hot, but because she thought that way. I felt kind of empty inside, and alone at that moment. I could tell my teammates but they wouldn’t understand. That feeling definitely gave me a better appreciation of the love that I had back home. At that point all I could do is pray, work on my schoolwork, and look for a fine brown sister on my campus.