Guilty of being Black in America

Well, what does that actually mean? For me, it’s being the spokesperson for all black people. I can not tell you how many times I get pulled into a discussion or talk about an issue usually regarded to race or gender and everyone assumes I am speaking on behalf of the entire men and women of color. I am not the go-to black person like my white counterparts think I am. I am not a representative for anyone, but myself when I walk into a room. I am Taylor. A woman of color who has an opinion just like her fellow brothers and sisters who have similar and different opinions.

Second, someone is always watching. Eyes everywhere. This is one of the hardest situations I have experienced while growing up Black in America. As I got older I have learned to deal with the multiple looks or faces in between curtains, but it was never easy to go shopping with friends after school or go to a coffee shop to do homework.

“Wow, you’re so light. It’s like a caramel/mocha mix”. Am I just a piece of chocolate? Am I just color to you? Ugh, gosh, this irritates me more than ever. I really dislike when people make comments about my complexion. My skin has been something I have been very sensitive to all my life. My cousins on my father’s side would make fun of me because I was always the lightest out of all of them and would sometimes blend in with the pictures and backgrounds. These comments aggravated me and made me feel self-conscious about my melanin. Out of my friends of color I was the third “lighter skinned” black kid out of everyone else. Skin complexion is a touchy subject for many. Today, society teaches us that if you are darker you are ugly, if you are pale you are weird and if you do not have a tan you’re not cool. Why is it that the amount of melanin one’s skin produces has to have a  label? Rather than labeling ask the person about their skin. Ask them if they encountered a struggle based on the amount of melanin they produce. Trust me, I rather someone asking me that than labeling me as a category. Ask questions because we all do not know the correct answer we just know how we feel.

Why am I guilty of being Black? Why should I feel this way? Can anyone tell me?

The point to this is that most black people I know, myself included, feels some type away when we are automatically profiled by the color of our skin versus the character of our personality or simplicity of our souls. One of the hardest things for me as a black woman is feeling some type of way for who I am to America, a black girl. It’s hard when you are the minority in a world that doesn’t view you as equal. A lot of this discussion relates to privilege. Race privilege, able-bodied privilege, gender privilege, straight privilege, as well as others. Privilege is very important in society today and it is very important that we do not use our privilege as an advantage to get ahead in life.



One thought on “Guilty of being Black in America

  1. This is so interesting, I’d never considered these points but now that you mention them, I agree! Thanks for sharing.
    None of us decided on our skin tone, and the obsession with being tan has damaged the health of many people! So I agree with you: we should be curious about each other, instead of judging.

    Kathrin —


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