Yes I’m black. To some though, I wasn’t. To some, I wasn’t good enough. No real explanation. Just blanket statements.
Some people spend part of their lives shaping themselves to commit to an already planned out existence. But each step was like a needle to the arm: you didn’t die, but you felt it and you remember what happens the next time you encounter it.
Here’s just one of many stories that left a bad taste in my mouth. The culprits may not have realized, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Growing up black in a white neighborhood in itself is interesting, but it made traveling outside of it confusing. I already knew that people were called colors that they were in fact not, but outside of the suburbs there were also levels to this said color.
While playing outside on the streets of Ilion Avenue, my siblings and I were always told we talked white. I would see my sister’s eyes bulge like their death was gaining pressure. She hated it more than I did.
I never understood why telling us we talked liked a color and that talking that way should be shameful. But hey, most of them barely left the burrow and always asked to play with my Skip-it so who’s ashamed now?
As we got older and more color escaped the depths of a government controlled cycle where only a few were okay with their outcome, the criticizing began to change a little. The preteens have now lived life and could tell me a few things. And now were telling me I wasn’t black enough.
First, I sounded white (ew, I guess is what was supposed to say). Now, for some reason, I wasn’t black enough. Almost like a secret timeline they kept track of for final judgement. Sad, I had no clue I was being tested.
Again, wasn’t sure how I was really supposed to take that. I know how I did take it and have a journal for a year in high school to prove it. But here I was, black, sounding white, not being black enough.
Skip ahead to adulthood. After years and years of being told I sounded like the wrong color, and my color was not enough to be a part of the color group, I was now being told the color I was supposed to be and sound like was no longer the latest tea.
That tasted like shit.
A long monologue about love, and many of us got the cliff notes: “You’re too loud, angry, and independent.”
I don’t care who you love, just don’t beat down someone else to justify it.