Not Black Enough: A Short Story

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“Dear Mixed People, You’re Not Black Enough. Sorry”
My tummy grumbled that lunch was still minutes away. I tried my best to pay attention to my friend as he read aloud the list of ideas for the next Black Student Union meeting.
For someone who was so eager to get out of class I was the last one out. I felt a tap on my shoulder as I packed away the last of my belongings. I smiled and greeted the girl.
“Is it true you’re in Black Student Union?” She asked.
“Yeah.”
“So anyone can join,” she said in surprise.
“Yeah,” I looked at her strangely.
“No, I’m sorry I don’t mean to be weird or anything it’s just that you know, you’re different . . . you’re not like other black people. I didn’t realize the Club was so accepting.”
I looked at her, confused.
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That wasn’t the first incident when someone would have the audacity to tell me I’m not black enough to do this or say that. From a young age I struggled with my identity, because I would see my black classmates earn awards for being black and having good grades, but I never received one certificate with my name on it, no matter how good my grades were, was I not black or just not black enough?
People make jokes all the time. When my black friends made a joke and I didn’t get it, they responded with “oh yeah I forgot you’re half-black” or “you’re a hybrid you wouldn’t understand.” My own father made jokes about me having to choose ‘sides;’ he even called me a ghetto valley girl. It’s a horrible feeling when you’re handed an information inquiry and when they ask “what’s your ethnicity?” You have to pause and think about it, because you’re not sure if you should circle black or other.
I’ve notice how other black people act all the time; from when I go to school or the grocery store. More importantly, I’ve noticed I don’t act like them. It’s almost as though I don’t belong in the culture. I don’t talk like them, I don’t think the same way, I don’t have the same beliefs and I don’t have the same
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