“I didn’t expect to see you”

Mensah Cone
Livingston, NJ

I’m the owner of a start-up Mandarin school. After completing a presentation of my school’s offerings to a principal in an urban school, the principal said, “Mensah, that was a fantastic presentation”. She expressed sincere interest in the program for her students. While packing my materials, she said, “I didn’t expect to see you”. We both are African Americans. Her comments underscore the conditioning that we’ve underwent into believing that certain professions or businesses are limited to certain demographics. I myself , am a student of Mandarin for 4.5 years, and successfully passed a Mandarin proficiency test issued by Han Ban.org The principal was a wonderful host. My six word comment faces challenges within a race, in this case, blacks.


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