The app Time Hop has a way of reminding me of my crazy misspent youth, my hormonal pregnancy, and my sexual awakening during college. The other day, it reminded me that not too long ago, I was that teenage black girl that was considered by her white friends to be just black enough to tolerate therefore making her intolerably not black enough for everyone else.
For most of my upbringing, other black girls my age would despise me as soon as I walked into a room. Before I said a word, blinked an eye, or gave them a single reason. Yeah, I am loud, come off as a know it all (because I do know it all, duh!), and can probably seem like an obnoxious bitch with a semi permanent frown. But, when I am comfortable I can truly be a social butterfly and get along with virtually anyone.
v i r t u a l l y.
Actual Facebook Post circa 2007
In high school, the white kids gravitated towards me like fireflies in the dark. I was that sassy black chick that told it how it was but clearly wasn’t accepted by the other black girls so I was like their token treasure. They flaunted me around like a prize peacock. I was their proof that they could not be racist, they could not be insensitive; after all their black bestie told them it was OK. They also had a serious lack of an understanding of what all went into being the token. I was constantly reminded that I was the only black person at the party, always felt like the ugly duckling because none of the white guys around wanted to date me, I was practically pushed onto the token black guy that was NEVER attractive, and the insensitivity was deafening.
Needless to say, once I hit college, I up’d my black friend count from 10% to 95% and now I look back on what I allowed back then (thanks again Time Hop) and just shake my head. I can tell you this, my son will never be the token–ever.
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