Personal Narrative: Black History Month

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Winter of 2008, Black History Month, and my third grade music teacher, announces, “Stand up if you would have been a victim of segregation,” following with, “Now, everyone look around.” February. The month of Rosa Parks, “I Had A Dream,” marches, and sit-ins. The month I had begun to despise greater each year. The month where I would be chosen to lead many readings and join classroom discussions, as if my being ‘black’ would provide some clarity that would enhance the learning experience for my fellow peers.
Except, I’m not ‘black,’ I’m ‘white’ as well.
It’s Christmas at my Grammy’s house. The sounds of soul music, TV, and conversation fill the air and coalesce with the aroma of brisket and greens. The lights and store-bought sugar cookies from years ago adorn the artificial Christmas tree, and plastic coverings wrap protectively around retro, disco-inspired couches. We huddle together in a circle, in the tiny, confined living room to capture the evening in a family photo. A picture on which …show more content…

For this reason, when reality clashes with that fantasy, it feels like a punch in the stomach. I received that reality punch on the way home from a disappointing, mediocre-at-best summer camp experience, that I thought was going to be the time of my life. Just ten at the time, and more knowledgeable on politics than many ignorant adults in rural Missouri, I found myself defending my race to my very Caucasian grandmother, claiming that “democratic social programs only feed black people’s reliance on the government.” I knew I was different on a physical level- I shared no resemblance to this woman with whom I was supposed to have a great bond, but that’s when it was evident that my physical differences are also fundamental- as if ‘my culture’ was against her

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