Black? Educated? What is that?

Renee Reives
Lorton, VA

Sometimes I feel stuck. I’m black and educated. I feel like a unicorn based on what so many people perceive and say about black people. I am expected by black people to endure a “struggle” I was not born into. Even misinformed white people that think they are helping feel the same way. Why do I need to help that struggling “brother” or “sister”? I’ve made my life through hard work with support from my family. I don’t know you. You are not my brother or sister. I have one sister and my daddy has always been faithful. I never hear white people saying, “Help a brother out.” Why must I be subjected to this? Why must I be called an Uncle Tom? What? Because I made it? Because I know you can make it through the “struggle”? This invisible barrier you have erected for yourself that was put here by the “white man”.
I was given an opportunity and I took it. Free public education. Became good at a sport and accepted a scholarship. I will graduate less than $20,000 in debt. I coach kids during the summer, I’ve been working since I was 14, I offer my services and even worked with “troubled youth” this summer to show that minorities do have a chance in this country. And these kids came from pretty good families. I truly don’t understand and probably never will.

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