Essay about Black, Black And Brown

1407 Words Mar 16th, 2016 null Page
I didn’t know that I was Black until the fifth grade. I mean, I always knew that I was Black as in the Black slash African American box I poorly shaded in every year on the CST. But, I was never truly cognizant in the ways in which the melanin in my skin differentiated me from others. During a passing period between classes, I came to a realization of my race. Like hundreds of times before, I entered the dimly lit restroom connected to the cafeteria of my elementary school; but, instead of exiting the restroom, after washing my hands, I caught a glance of my reflection. And, in a small, scratched up mirror, I, for the first time, saw myself — or, at least, I finally saw my melanin in contrast to the pale skin of my peers. Despite growing up in a Black and Brown city, with Black and Brown teachers, I was never taught about or interacted with Black people. Therefore, I think that because everyone I grew up with and everyone I learned about in Inglewood had white skin I assumed that I too had a pale body; that I definitely was not the thin, dark girl standing towards the back of that restroom. As a product of cable television and Latinx dominated GATE classes, I associated Blackness with: the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, That’s So Raven, Mariah Carey, and the random Black burglars/gangsters/thugs that came on the Channel 2 News every morning. Blackness was either something artificial or something negative to me at this time.
The journey of learning about and knowing my Blackness…

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