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.
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.