“You talk so proper,” Dude, what?

Jasmine N. Allen,
Atlanta, GA

The first four words are a quote from something someone said to me on the first day of 7th grade. I had just asked the teacher a question when the girl sitting next to me turned and said this. I was confused by what she meant because I didn’t say anything that was that different than what the other people said before me. It wasn’t until I got home and told my mom about this and she responded, “Well, what did she expect you to sound like?” That it clicked for me that the girl had made an expectation of me based on nothing other than what I looked like. Now, the girl may not have meant anything racist but the point still stands that black people are unfairly stereotyped as uneducated and improper, and when they show that they are educated the black person is met with surprise.


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