Black girl attitude, but sounds white.

Saba-painting-of-KhuwailahKhuwailah Beyah,
Durham, NC.

For as long as I can remember people have said to me, and sometimes to my mother, the I “talk white” or that I’m trying to be white because of the way I speak and some of the things that interest me. I have never quite gotten this. I don’t have “white sounding” name, but I do speak like I’m American, which I am. Growing up I did not quite understand why they would say these things to me. I didn’t understand why a lot of black kids taunted me about the way I carried myself. My mother would just explain it away and say, “You just more after the white side of family baby. Don’t worry about them.” A relation of mine, on a few occasions, greeted me, “Hey white girl.” White people label/labeled me as different from “the rest of them.” My interests are varied, I listen to all sorts of music because that was what was being played in my household, and I like what I like. I refuse to defend my blackness to anyone. I refuse to let the status quo dictate what kind of person I should be and what type of interests I should have. I am educated, I love to read, I love to travel, I speak well, and that should not constitute “being white.” But the flip side of this is: when I express anger or irritation, I am thought of as an angry black girl/women and that I have an “black girl” attitude. What does that even mean? I should be able to express my anger without being a labeled a problem or an agitator. I have a good sense of self and that’s the way I was brought up to be as Black Muslim woman in the South. I don’t “talk white”, I speak as if I am educated and I am. Deal with it!


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