But you’re not really black

K. Louis
East Brunswick, NJ

Growing up, I had a lot of misconceptions about my race. My mother is black and was born in England, and firmly considered herself British even though her father had his roots in Jamaica. I could remember one time were watching a news story were two African American males were arrested and my mother made me promise I wouldn’t get involved with anyone like that, let alone, ever be like that. “African Americans in the U.S. are so raucous,” she would say in her accent. My mother always pushed me to act different from my stereotype, but I was always considered weird to my peers because of it. People could never quite think of me as black because of the way I spoke or the way I carried myself but because of my race I couldn’t be thought of as anything, but black. In college, one of my dorm mate confided to me, “You’re black, but you’re not really black.”

 

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