- Posted January 27, 2013 by
I Am Black in America
Last week most of my co-workers learned that I was Black. It apparently created quite the chatter. I have been told fellow educators were asking and confirming my Blackness.
I was asked, are you mixed? Why is your skin color that way? Your eyes - do you wear colored contacts?
I work in a very rural town in Louisiana and my co-workers are totally in disbelief.
Yes, I respond I am Black, my parents were Black.
One of your parents must be White? No, both parents were Black
There is no way you are Black! And on and on.
As this was my first iReport I did not complete my story. My entire life I have had to educate others on the varying shades of Blackness. What has been the most interesting of my experiences is when White people assumed I was White and share their thoughts, opinions, comments on fellow Blacks. Then the day comes when my Blackness is revealed, though I never "passed" for White, I never thought it was necessary for me to say hello my name is Mary and by the way I am Black. I digressed, it is most interesting to me when White people shared their negative thoughts and comments on fellow co-workers or classmates (whatever the environment was at the time) and they learned I that I am Black. I watch them as they recount mentally the comments they made or share and then attempt to blame me for allowing them to share their [as I term it ] uncensored, uncut and honest and feelings/thoughts about Black people. I never defend my physical characteristics for their truthful statements made when they thought they were talking to a fellow White person.