“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
Have you every had a cookie with just one or two chocolate chips in it? Disappointing right? Well,
that’s how I’ve felt ALL MY LIFE. The Majority of my life. EVERYWHERE I’ve been. I’m VERY familiar with that feeling, because I’m usually one of those lonely chocolate chips. If you’re not a chocolate chip, maybe you’ve been the only marshmallow in the hot chocolate, but this is really for my fellow chocolate chips. Are you confused yet or does it make sense? I’ll share an example. Growing up I played volleyball in school, a sport that wasn’t very common in the black community. Everyone assumed I played basketball or soccer. But no, I played a sport where at times I was the ONLY black athlete in a gym of over 30 teams. NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING. I have stories for daaaaaays about that experience, but I think my favorite chocolate chip moments were when teammates or other parents used to look in the stands and ask me who were my parents -____- ……….Like why was that even a question? I’ll share some more in a minute, but I have to drop a little Black History gem first.
In 1896, the Supreme Court legalized segregation in public establishments (libraries, schools, bathrooms, etc… as long as they were equal accommodations) in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. But in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that the “separate but equal” standards should not apply to schools because the education provided to Blacks was not equal to that of Whites (still isn’t but whatever). Obviously there was a lot of hesitation and push back regarding this ruling, so school districts implemented entrance exams to test the competency level of blacks to possibly discourage or deny entry into the school (somewhat still presently true). But in 1960, Ruby Bridges, at the age of six, passed her entrance exam and was the first African American enrolled in an all white elementary school down south, after the ruling of segregated schools being deemed unconstitutional in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. The parents and teachers protested and refused to enter the building while Ruby was enrolled. Ruby had to be escorted to school by federal marshals for safety, because people hated the fact that she was enrolled. Only one teacher was willing to educate her and she spent all of first grade in a classroom alone(History.com; WomensHistory.org). So Ruby knows all about being the only chocolate chip in the cookie (they made a TV movie about her, you should watch it sometime).
We have made progress. We have grown. I don’t take for granted, that people fought hard for me be ALLOWED to go to school, let alone an “integrated” school. But still, in 2018, its awkward and I can literally feel it when I’m the only chocolate chip. Yes, legally I can go anywhere. Yes I’m comfortable in my skin. Yes I enjoy the cultural exchanges. That doesn’t make it any less awkward. That doesn’t mean I’m always welcome. You’d think I’d be used to being the only Black girl in classes or in meetings. It is what it is and I just deal with it. But I can’t ignore my feelings. Especially when people ask ignorant questions or assume things just because of the color of my skin. I don’t represent the whole Black race. I’m not the “stereotypical” Black girl. It’s almost to the point where I wanna carry a list of things to expect or not expect from me when I’m the only Black person in the room. A “black card” resume’ if you will, to answer all the ridiculous questions and debunk all of the sterotypes.
- No I don’t put hot sauce on everything- yes i know its the “staple ” condiment, but I’m all set. My taste buds don’t crave it unless its Buffalo chicken wing dip, or Wings.. sorry, not sorry.
- No I don’t drink kool-aid, watermelon is a pointless fruit to me, I think chittlin’s are gross, and me eating fried chicken is like seeing an eclipse.
- No I haven’t seen all the “hood classics” (I would name them, but I don’t want you to judge me anymore than you already are and take away my black card lol)
- No I don’t know the words to pretty much any Hip hop or Rap songs or artists on the Billboard Top charts (But for some reason I like Meek Mill and plan on learning all the words to Dreams and Nightmares in the very near future lmao).
- No I don’t know the latest dance craves sweeping the nation- with the exception of the Milly Rock and I don’t even do that with the stiffness required for it (I’m still crankin’ that Soulja Boi, doin’ the heel toe, and harlem shakin’) lmao.
- Yes I know how to swim. I just don’t. (lots of factors- past traumatic experience, not feeling comfortable in a swimsuit [even though I’m poppin’], and of course having to redo my hair. Its all tew much)
VERY random side note (BUT since we talkin’ about water): Realest Quote of the year goes to Killmonger from Black Panther- ” Nah. Just bury me with my ancestors who jumped from ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage.” #wakandaforever ………………….. ok…………I’m done……………… carry on…………
- Yes. I speak proper English. I am capable of forming complete sentences, without using Ebonics and slang. That’s how I was able to receive my degrees (plural). I’m incredibly competent. BUT, don’t get it twisted. I’m anything but basic. When I’m kickin’ it wit my homies I’m low-key savage wit the word play, throwin’ shade and being petty. Ya feel me? Skrrt (lmao I had to laugh at my self for that one). I guess you can say I’m somewhere close to being Sophistiratchet.
Sophistiratchet (adj.)- a person of highly educated pedigree (academically, socially & otherwise). Fluent in various forms of public etiquette yet is equally knowledgeable of the latest trap music , updated on most prime-time ratchet cable programs, conversant in the tongue of ratchet , & skilled in the art of “twerking” (Urban Dictionary).
- No I don’t operate on CPT (colored people time).
- Yes this is my real hair
- No I don’t know the ONE other black person that you know or that’s in the class/department/meeting.
- Yes I’m a Black Woman. Yes I do have things to be angry about. But NO I AM NOT an angry black woman.
Actually, this list works if I’m in a room with all black people too. *kanye shurg*
Bottom line: I’m not the average. I’m a lil weird. Yes. I admit it. Just embrace it lol I’m sure I sound and look as awkward as I feel when I’m the only chocolate chip in the cookie OR the only chocolate chip in the fudge Brownie. I AM NOT AN OREO! (Black on the outside “white” on the inside) I AM A CHOCOLATE CHIP tryin’ not to get lost in the cookie. #Thatsjustthewaythecookiecrumbles #sorrynotsorry