What’s Your Race Story?

How did you hear about race? Where were you?Who told you and why? Do you remember when you were told that you were a colored person, a black/white/red/yellow/brown/beige person? What did it feel like? Were you told that you had power or that you were a problem? Was it presented as the unavoidable way of the world, that you were going to find out about one way or another and that they would much rather you hear it from them? “This is the way things are.”  “This is why we are the way that we are.” “This is why we don’t associate with them.” “This is why we are different.”

Did a list of social rules ensue? Were you taught racial etiquette, the dos and don’ts of colored living? This is what people like “us” do and don’t do, think and say. This is the way that we act and this is what we believe about those who are not like “us.” If so, then you have experienced the American tradition of racial formation.  We are not born colored people neither do we innately hate certain people. We are told. We are taught both race and racism. We are formed by hands that hold us, hold chalk or perhaps, even hold a Bible.

But, it is a story; we need only to tell it how it really happened. Once upon a time, when I was told that I was black/white/red/yellow/brown/beige…

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4 thoughts on “What’s Your Race Story?

  1. How did you hear about race?
    Science class

    Where were you?
    8th grade

    Who told you and why?
    Science book

    Do you remember when you were told that you were a colored person, a black/white/red/yellow/brown/beige person?
    no

    What did it feel like?
    na

    Were you told that you had power or that you were a problem?
    Not as a child. As an adult I learned about ‘White’ privilege.

    Was it presented as the unavoidable way of the world, that you were going to find out about one way or another and that they would much rather you hear it from them?
    no

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