Rural Alaska, six blacks, my family.

Lydia Taylor
Memphis, TN

I was born and raised in Alaska. When I was 4, my father got out of the Air Force and accepted a job as a State Trooper in Dillingham, Alaska. He moved from Anchorage to Dillingham first, to start his job as we as find us a place to live. We followed on my 5th birthday, I thought I was being punished. We moved to a small fishing town off the Bristol Bay, where the majority of people there, majority Alaskan Native, had not seen a black person in “real life.” We lived in Dillingham for 8 years and it taught me many things about race relations. My siblings and I were tormented daily at school, called n*****, jiggaboo, blackie, darkie, monkey, ape, pretty much any derogatory racial slur you could use towards a black person. It caused me to hate being black as a kid, it took a lot for me to learn to love me. We left Dillingham in 1993.


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