Skin.

I know I’m black.

I’m remembered in the morning when the back of my hand wipes away the dreams from my eyes.
I’m remembered when I pass by mirrors and windows.
I’m remembered by the comments on my race that others make awkward.

I know very well the color of my skin, but I don’t think others around me noticed as much as they did today.

This week I’ve been wearing my hair out in its natural fro state. Usually I would wear my hair in tiny twists, but that process takes on average 7 hours! I don’t have time to sit down for 7 hours, that’s time that can be spent doing other things like sleeping.

Wearing my hair in this fashion, I think, draws more attention to my foreignness. Now I’m not only taller and bigger, now I’m obviously black and obviously different. There’s nothing wrong with being different, I will always be in this context, but it’s hard when a difference that I cannot change hinders my relationships with people.

Today I felt like I was treated differently. I don’t expect everyone to fully understand what I mean by this, perhaps only those who look like me.

It was like my surroundings turned into an elementary playground and I was the kid nobody liked.

After I finished teaching I quickly tiptoed out of the coffee shop and bolted home. Along the way I bumped into one of my friends.

She looked at me the same.
She talked with me the same.
And in that moment I didn’t feel so different anymore.

She accepted me for me, just as I accept her for her.

Snapshot_20160323_1

My beautiful hair and skin.

She was an answer to an unsaid request because today I was seriously re-thinking my decision to stay longer. She reminded my why I love being here.

Even on the bad days, when my skin is looked upon like a curse, friends like her remind me how much I’m blessed.

***

P.S. Please keep me in your thoughts in this regard. Thank you.

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One thought on “Skin.

  1. Kami,

    I hope you know that I’m excited that you are hear and encouraged to believe that you being here is helping to break down some of the stereotypes that Thais associate with skin color. I know that I’ve made reference to your skin color a few of times this semester. If the way I’ve done that is offensive, then please let me know and please forgive me. Perhaps my excitement over having our first african-american semester long student has clouded my view of the impact that recognizing that fact may have on you and others.

    Blessings! – Wayne

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