Where You From Pt 4

It’s a slightly uncomfortable feeling to be mentally, sometimes even physically, sandwiched between a mainstream white culture, and the culture of being a minority. I am a woman with sable skin, kinky hair, and a curvy body. I am black. My household is middle class; I went to private schools, traveled abroad, I’ve sat in the back seat of mom’s really nice, expensive cars. My identity is sweet and sour. Because on one hand, I am just black. A minority. On the other hand, I am privileged. I can relate to the mainstream. So how should I feel when I see unarmed black men being shot by police? How I should I feel when a part of my city is being destroyed from an uprising that began after a black man was killed in police custody? Do I employ my collegiate frame of mind and speak on the situations objectively? There is no right. But depending on the context, there can be a wrong. If I disagreed with #BlackLivesMatter and upheld the myth that it was a cult and terrorist group, I am wrong. If I fail to see the privileges that white people have and people of color do not, I am wrong.

There are moments that sometimes get awkward for me when I exist in the black space and white space simultaneously. What happens when my black friend takes a radical stand on an issue about whites? Do I also adopt that view, while in the space, in hopes of securing some kind of black code? If not, have I betrayed my black body and surrendered to the white conviction of domination?

Ta-Nahisi Coates’, Between the World and Me, is a profound, intimately written letter to his teenage son about growing up black in Baltimore and coming of age in the “Mecca” of Howard University. Reading it, I have had feelings of some kind of black guilt because my experience in the black body differs greatly from his. I have never had to protect my body so intensely that the thought of protection actually overshadowed my vision toward being a well-rounded, fulfilled individual.

In the midst of having privilege and being black in America, I have to decide on how to navigate race relations of today. I have to know when to address white people when they’ve commented on my “blackgirlsrock” post with “allgirlsrock.” I need to know how to support the successes of prominent black people without appearing disinterested in that of white people. I need to know how to be proud and black and be accepted in to white space. That’s a real thing. Appearing as a non-threat in white space. For some people, my even hair makes them uncomfortable.

My beautiful body receives stares from lustful men and envious women. I think of how the body of black women has been used and viewed during America’s history. The body of a female slave was often used for pleasure and profit. Sold for reproduction of more slaves. Cut for experimental research. Used for nursing of white children. Touched for the satisfaction of white men. Impregnated with mulatto children to be born also a slave. I learned in a rhetoric class that many white female abolitionists were against slavery because it threatened the sanctity of their marriages. The body of female slaves were a threat to their marriages? Or was it their husbands raping slaves? Ha, rhetoric. It’s an interesting thing.

The female slave casts a shadow on my present-day black body. I walk with conviction that I am more than my body. But my shadow follows, only to disappear in darkness after the body leaves the white canvas.

I am aware of self, and being self-aware has its virtues and costs. The benefits involve a cultural competency that shapes my world view and my position within that context. The price, ironically, is constantly knowing my position of being in a black body. Its appearance as a threat is that which also makes it invisible.

It’s a slightly uncomfortable feeling to be mentally, sometimes even physically, sandwiched between a mainstream white culture, and the culture of being a minority. I am a woman with sable skin, kinky hair, and a curvy body. I am black.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Your Social Activism May Actually Benefit From A Cleansing Social Media Detox

In the craziest year of our lives, sometimes there's value in taking a break.

We are living through, unequivocally, one of the most dangerous, unstable, chaotic periods of any of our lives. From COVID-19 to crises of police brutality to the mass exploitation of the poor by mega-corporations, the world outside seems to be looking more dystopic every day. What can be done about it? For many, activism involves heavily posting on social media to keep others aware. However, this comes with a net negative cost — increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the state of the world. Why might this be? After all, in past eras activists have endured comparable and greater levels of abuse and relentless torment from oppressors. Why, now, are people getting so easily burnt out?

Keep Reading... Show less

Reading is a relaxing activity that provides many benefits. Everybody reads books (when they are not watching Netflix, chatting on social media, or making Tik Tok videos) to distract themselves from reality for a while. Many do not realize the positive impact that books have like reducing stress, assisting with sleep, improving cognitively, and strengthening the mind. In honor of National Book Day, there are many great novels that you can read to mark this special holiday. Here are the best ones to check out.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Things You Need To Know Before You Watch 'Arrested Development' On Netflix

"Her?" Yes, she's an amazing show! (You'll get this joke after you watch the show).


"Arrested Development" is an award-winning sitcom that aired for three seasons on Fox beginning in 2003, and then was picked up by Netflix for a fourth season in 2013, and then again for a final season in 2018.

However, it seems to remain one of the world's most underrated and under-appreciated shows of all time. Although this article alone won't be enough to skyrocket the show to Netflix's top 10, I hope that it will open people's eyes to the value and quality of the show.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have always felt left out because of how I look and who I am. I have always felt like the elephant in the room, literally. I have always been shamed for my size. For the longest time, I cared so much about what I wear and who I wore certain things in front of. I never wanted to wear shirts that would show a lot of my arm, located above my elbow. I wouldn't wear shorts that didn't go to the tip of my knees, at least. I never wore anything remotely tight, where you could see every curve, roll, or imperfection. I was so insecure about myself, and not many of my friends knew.

Keep Reading... Show less

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less

Celebrities Stealing Designs From Small Fashion Labels Is NOT A Good Look, And They Need To Pay Up

When larger, more established figures or brands steal from lesser-known independent creators, they are taking opportunities away from these creators while also profiting from someone else's work and claiming it as their own.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B recently collaborated on their new single "WAP," with the music video also being released on Friday. Both Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B posted photos of themselves on Instagram to celebrate the premiere of "WAP." An independent designer quickly noticed that the rappers' matching tops were copies of a top she had designed last year.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

When You Have A Disability, Finding A Job Is Twice As Hard, Believe Me, I Know

We have got to create a safer work environment for people with disabilities.

"My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically." – Stephen Hawking

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Books That Are NOT In The Young Adult Genre That Will Change Your Life

Young Adult isn't the only genre that exists, so here are seven books that any book lover wanting to try something new will love.

One of the most popular genres in literature that everyone has read at least one book from is Young Adult fiction. Now, I personally can say that, in the past, I have been one of those people that only read from the YA section of the bookstore.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with just reading one genre, it's good sometimes to venture out of your reading comfort zone into the other book genres of the literary world.

In a previous article, I discussed the importance and power of words. The perfect example of this is literature and its impact on the world. Books have always played a crucial part in human lives, from how we are able to expand our knowledge to how we pass our time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments