White People Remind Me I’m Black

Patrick Battle
Forest Park, IL

I grew up in mixed environments and have had always had friends of different and mixed races. Still, I find that our culture encourages the notion that, no matter what your background is, if you live America – being Black is some sort of cause for unwarranted attention. Whether that attention be seemingly positive (Nearly everyone you meet as an adolescent asking if you play basketball) or obviously negative (Don’t even ask me about “Racist Joke Day” at Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, IL), I’ve noticed that my contemporary issues concerning race only exist because they have been made to. Like any normal person, I consider myself a human being who deserves to be considered as so. It is only with an individual’s inexplicable need to say something about Black people or Black culture in my presence that I begin to wonder why it is, ever since the great kidnapping from Africa, that White people are so obsessed with Black people in the first place. I have a name, a history and a future. I only have race when you bring it to my attention.

 

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