I’m Pavla Pletkova. And I’m black.

13176_10100523263562992_6748221724506443155_nPavla Pletkova,

Looking at my picture you could never tell. Listening to me speak you could never tell. What I’ve been told is I look like a “regular light skinned black girl”. But little do they know I’m far from regular.

As far as I know, I have never met another Czech-Ghanaian person, well, except for my younger brother. I was born in the Czech and am fluent. Growing up I never realized the dynamics of my unique situation.

As I got older, I found out that having a “white” name had some advantages: I get called back for interviews, apparently more than I “should”. I have been told more than once in an interview (queue the HR generalists), “oh,….nice to meet you. I was expecting a 6 foot white European girl”. Welp, you got a 5’9″ one!

But I also found out that not looking the part, was sometimes a disadvantage: I was once told by a classmate during my undergraduate years, that the only reason one of several big companies was recruiting me was because I was black and a female.

So even though i am not one ounce African-American, because of my looks, I get treated like a black female in America gets treated, and because of that I sympathize with the black experience in America.


Tweets by Michele Norris