In answer to “What’s the most awkward racial interaction you ever had?”
So I was at Texas A&M University, their College Station campus for a summer research. The program consisted of students with different racial backgrounds, what made it good was the fact that there were other Black guys in the program so I did not feel to alone. Well one Friday evening myself some of the people in the program as well as some students from the University had pre-gamed in the room before heading to a party. We get on the elevator, it stopped on the next floor for two females and a guy (all White) because the elevator was a little packed they said they would wait for it to come back, I insisted that we would make space for them which we were able to do. As the door closed one of the guys from the school said “Oh don’t mind the creepy Black guy in the corner.” (I am the only Black guy with them) There was a awkward silence, I could tell people were worried I was going to act in a very aggressive manner. In that instant I thought to myself “I can respond to this one of two ways; act the “stereotype” or brush it off by making everybody laugh” I chose the latter. I decided to speak like I was a wealthy White guy from Connecticut trying to sound cool. “Well let me talk in my non-threating voice, how does this sound?” I said enunciating every word. Everybody started to laugh including the two white girls who were initially uncomfortable.