In answer to the Day 11 Question “Are You The Black Friend?’”
My family and I live in an upscale neighborhood and are one of two black families. Our neighbors love us (to our face anyway), I think because we don’t bring any other black people to the neighborhood. They don’t know that it is just circumstantial, our black friends live in a different region of the US and my husband and I don’t usually make new black friends because we’re vegetarian atheists. I go out to lunch with my neighbors once every three months, and give them vegetables from my garden. I support Ron Paul and in this bastion of Republicanism, it also serves to make me the perfect black neighbor - acceptably quirky while displaying authentic blackness. My long thin dreadlocks are carefully displayed in extremely neat up do and my home is filled with African artifacts. My husband and I are writers, adding to the allure. All that doesn’t however, make me the perfect black neighbor, what makes me the perfect black neighbor is that I have the smallest house on the block - my 4000 square feet are not visible from the street, my pool is well hidden and I do not buy the latest vehicles (really a principle more than anything). Without saying it, my neighbors are pleased that I seem to know my place and am different enough to assure them there will not be an influx of black families as a result of my presence. It doesn’t matter that I write about economic inequality and race, I am still the perfect black neighbor.