I don’t speak for my race!

Celesti Colds Fechter,
Tarrytown, NY.

I feel as though when I am the only African-American in a setting that I feel obligated to “speak” for other African-Americans. I will not do it and don’t ask me to do it. I had a job where I was the first African-American hired in a professional setting. I felt like an enigma. I am the only face of color in the room of over 50 people. It was not the first time this has happened but I felt as though I was the center of attention. When I started my job I told my co-workers, “I don’t dance and I will not speak for “all” Black people. It became a running joke that I was “teaching multi-cultural-ism” at lunch. I never felt more “Black” when I worked there. My co-workers were great it was the people who came in who were surprised to see me. I learned to be myself a long time ago and it became more important when I worked there.


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