Ever since I can remember, my mom has never failed to inform me on race and black culture. I even questioned my mom, when I was about 5, if my grandpa was black because he’s not pasty like me. I wasn’t confused. I didn’t really think anything of it. I just wanted to know if he was black.
When I first found out what racism was, I didn’t understand. I understood what it was but I didn’t understand why. When I first got a gist of learning about racism, it was most likely around the time they taught about slavery in school. That’s when I started to notice it more in my school.
My middle school was not as diverse as my high school is. My middle school is on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island, where the majority of the kids are white. In middle school I noticed which kids got in trouble the most and what they got in trouble for. The black and the Hispanic girls got dress coded much more than the white girls, and the black and Hispanic boys got harsher punishment for fighting than the white boys. The girls noticed they got dress coded more, so they got pissed and pointed it out and asked the teachers why. The teachers would usually just say something about how to dress respectably, but didn’t mention singling out the minority students like they did.
At Classical High School, white kids are the minority. There isn’t any discrimination in my high school. Classical is very mixed and thankfully we don’t have teachers who like to dress code a black girl because an inch of her stomach is showing. My school is very academic and most kids keep to themselves and work. Nobody has time to be an ass. The negativity that comes to the school sometimes, comes from the sports teams competing from suburban towns. One nasty girl from another team called one of our girls “black trash”. The girl was very, very upset but she didn’t want to start anything. She even told our coach to not talk to the girl or anyone on the other team. So the negativity comes to our school sometimes, but doesn’t stay within the students and the school.
Growing up with my mother influences me and causes me to notice a lot and question a lot, mostly having deep conversations in my head. With all the news today on tragedies around the country with the shootings and protesting, I wonder why much isn’t being done or helped and then I remember that the people in charge are cops, who are causing the problem in the first place. Then I question why can’t the people in charge of the cops do something, that leads into government which they seem to care less since most of those cops still are walking around free and even with their jobs today.
So growing up with my mom being obsessed with race and black culture has gotten me noticing and questioning a lot around me and usually I ask her if I have a question. I have her to thank for informing instead of finding out through the media which mainly seems like opinion-based information, *cough cough* Fox News, but growing up like this has given me a more open mind to the world, and I’ve learned not to judge. Thanks mom for not making me a judgmental piece of garbage and informing me of real matters in the world!!
For Leni inspired posts, since she and her sister, Darla, have been my muses, read these: