• What’s your ethnic and religious heritage?
Black & Christian.
• What’s your earliest memory of becoming aware that some people looked different from you?
I was in 2nd grade and EPB came to do a demonstration on electricity. The presenter refused to touch my hair & then explained to the class why static electricity doesn’t affect Black people. It hit me that my class mates didn’t look like me. I was so embarrassed, ashamed and just humiliated.
• What’s your earliest memory of becoming aware of racism?
I remember the quiet racism but my first experience of blatant racism was at my first job. I was 15 and I worked at Kmart. There was an older white man that always insisted on coming to my line only. He would tell me how he wished times were like they used to be so he could have me and that I was the prettiest little nigger he has ever seen. I was TERRIFIED & management did nothing. I was told I should take it as a compliment. I never even told my parents. I felt like no one would care, I didn’t feel worthy of protection and I felt guilty for not feeling more grateful for the “compliment.”
• What’s one way you think your life would have been different had you been born another race? I’m a black woman so I am a double minority. I am met with opposition because of the color of my skin and the fact that I’m a woman so the list is so endless on how things would be different for me. One thing that would have been different if I had been born another race is that I would have automatically mattered. I wouldn’t have had to constantly prove I was worthy of life itself.
• How can white people be better allies to the black community? I have had over 100 conversations with white people over the last three weeks and I would say to LISTEN. Listen to POC when they tell you their experiences and believe them.