Black Girl Problems, Childhood, Race, Uncategorized

Discolored Recollections

The color of my skin never before occured to me until I wanted to be the pink Power Ranger at recess and was told I had to be the yellow ranger because the pink ranger was white. This confused me because although my ethnicity has always been somewhat ambigious , I did not
have the lovely Asian features as did the yellow ranger. I also learned that day that in this small town there was no black, hispanic, or Asian. There was white and then everyone else. White was the only color that was acknowledged. I was one of the seven brown skinned students in the entire school district, (the same seven people that made up the less than 1% non-white popluation of the entire town at the time) There was a brother and sister who were mixed raced
that lived were our neighbors. Then there was another brother and sister who were South American and also adopted by white parents. (For a very
long time I didn’t know that white children could also be put up for adoption.) In the fourth grade
I was told I had to be Scary Spice when playing Spice Girls (Embarressing I know. Let’s chalk it
up the beginning of many youthful indescretions.) Even though I wanted to be Sporty Spice because I was the only one out of the five super cool girls playing Spice Girls at recess who had an interest in sports. This is when I learned capabilities, interests, and personality count for moot against outward appearance. Apparently, my skin was a big enough deal to mandate me into boxes that I didn’t even fit in.
All my older sister’s friends thought I looked like Rudy on the Cosby show. They would come over to the house and if they saw me they’d make a comment and would go on and on about how similar we look as if it were a compliment. I’m not sure how stating that the only two brown
girls you’ve ever seen look exactly like was a compliment.

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