By Brynn White
To be frank with you, the world is… Interesting. At least, that is what I say to myself to ease some of the confusion and the pain. My grandmother used to tell me that I have to be twice as “good.” I didn’t really understand what that meant. I would always ask that question, “twice as good as what?” She meant that I had to be twice as good as everyone. I needed to be immersed in the white and politically correct world just as much as the average joe and know what it means to be around my people aka the black community. I decided that it was all too much work and so I became accustomed to only living in one world the “white world.” After all, that is the more important “world” to live in because it promises a future that is stable and rich with opportunities in the real world. (I don’t actually believe this, it is just what I have come to understand about the state of our nation and our culture as it is today.)
With that being said, here is what I have learned as an African American Teen Girl living in today’s society.
#1.) Allow people to touch your hair
Yes, I actually get stopped in the middle of the street walking to work and people ask if they can touch my hair. It is weird at first but you eventually get used to the notion that people don’t understand how your hair can end up in an afro. For some reason, it is fascinating to them beyond belief. I try not to ask them why or get flustered, I just say yes.
#2.) Don’t Get Upset When People Use the N-word.
I know what you're thinking. Why would you even get offended? It’s just a word and it's not like they are using it in a derogatory manner. It is commonly used in popular songs, tv, social media,etc. But for me, it still nags at me when people use it who are not apart of my culture use it. I just try to refrain from punching someone in the gut.
#3.) Don’t Get Upset When People Say anything that is slightly or remotely construed as derogatory.
I have heard the line “ I just got a spray tan that is so dark. I like I am black.” or “That is so Ghetto.” You just have to breathe and walk in the other direction.
#4.) People will always assume that you are going to steal something
After a while, you realize that you are going to be followed and watched like a hawk in any kind of retail store. I just think of them as my little assistants. Plus, I will never have to go looking for a store manager... Ever!
#5.) Know that most people do things out of ignorance and fear
I know that ignorance isn’t a good excuse for all bad behavior but I would like to believe that most people have good intentions and just don’t understand the implications of what they are saying and/or doing. I have grown to have a high tolerance to b.s. and uninformed individuals.
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