When I was a teenager I was a loner. Not black enough for black people, but not fit for white consumption. My situation comes in second to a zebra who was born with no stripes. People couldn’t figure me out. I listened to KRS ONE but I liked Guns N Roses. I loved southern cooking but I wasn’t against eat dishes that were not on the approved black list. I love black people but I didn’t feel as if I had to run to every pro-black rally and sign every community petition.
Since I had no real friends and didn’t fit in, I did my own thing. I am who I am. I am black woman. I was born from one. No getting around that fact. Unfortunately, I was never able to pull off being accepted as black because I didn’t act, dress, or speak the way black people are “supposed” to (whatever that means). Go home and change your clothes they’d say, only white people wear dat kinda shit. You need to stop reading those “white books” you’re being brainwashed, they’d say. Why you talkin like you’re white? After a while I just gave up and tried to be as “black” as possible, but I was never able to satisfy the blacks I tried to befriend.
In the end I resigned myself to sit at the fringes of black society and eventually society as a whole. For many the next logical step would of been to hang out with white people and try to be “white” so I could have friends. Ha! Like many people when you’re a teenager who do almost anything to fit in. In my case that wasn’t a solution. I knew that there was prejudice among white people. There was no guarantee that I wouldn’t have put with it on a regular basis just so I could say I had “friends.” It was pointless. I really wanted to be accepted for I was and not to have to pretend to be something I wasn’t.
Then I met my husband. For the first time in my life being me was a GOOD thing. I was always of the opinion that I was fine the way I was and now I’d met someone who felt the same way. I admit it sounds like narcissism but its true. I discovered that he possessed all the qualities I found desirable in a man and in myself. We we’re able to quickly get past any awkwardness.I know you will find this shocking but my husband and I discuss race (GASP!). I know, but its necessary for a marriage that has to deal with racism and bigotry. It’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page about how to deal with prejudice when confronted with it.
Since I married my husband I get dirty stares from black folks. I can’t see why they’re so upset I wasn’t “black” enough before. Seems strange to me. Because of the attitudes my husband and I have to face I know all too well that my skin color is being used as marker of why I’m with my husband and the nature of the relationship.