Not an Oreo cookie; an American.

JamerigueseFlagConrad Folkes,
Royersford, PA.

I’m a first-generation American of Jamaican descent. I was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA when I was seven years old. I’ve always been an outgoing person. I make friends easily.

I’m black, but I don’t fit into black American culture all that nicely. I don’t speak like the majority of black Americans. I grew up as a racial minority in my town, but I didn’t act like it. I got involved in sports, high school musicals, I was an exchange student during my junior year of high school. I was even voted prom king after returning.

I’m black, and I don’t fit into white American culture all that nicely either. I dealt with racism in that small town as a child. There were countless arguments between my parents and those of my downstairs neighbor, Chris. They were always racially charged, but we just wanted to play and have sleepovers. I was called a “n*****,” by another child in elementary school while we were all playing on the playground.

I’m black, but most of my friends are white. We have more experiences in common, I find. My wife is white (from Portugal). My children are mixed (we say “Jameriguese”), and I’m black. I’m not an Oreo though; I’m not black, but white on the inside. I’m a black American of Jamaican descent and I try to love others as much as I love me and mine.

Most others love me back. I guess they can’t help it!


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