I went to a school in the middle of nowhere in NC. There was only roughly 500 kids in the whole school. Fewer than 50 were black, or any other race (other than white) for that matter. Here's what that was like:
  1. My first impression was culture shock.
    I went to elementary and middle school on a military base, so there was a solid number of Black kids/Asian kids/Latino kids around in each grade. When I switched schools, not only did I know no one, but it seemed like I was the only black kid around
  2. I didn't know how to assimilate "myself" so I fit in by playing into stereotypes
    I was now the "tough" kid. There was no one that really understood or cared who I was, so I became embarrassed and protective of "me". My second day I was almost in a fight with a sixteen year old in the seventh grade. By the end of the year, I had been in three fights. All my friends from that year went from OCLC to prison pretty seamlessly. None of them were really bad kids, but putting up fronts can have consequences
  3. After being the only kid to go to HS from my group of friends I turned to sports
    Bad idea: I very quickly learned the true colors of the rich kids.
  4. Everything was about how I was the token
    "I was fast because I was black", "You can dance, right?", "Ay, Charles rap a little man". And nothing is as strange is someone asking how big your d__ is in casual convo. It was "other" to the umpteenth degree
  5. I heard tons of racist shit but just kind of just bottled up
    "You know I'm kidding, man..."
  6. So I performed black even harder
  7. I performed in all the misogynistic ways all my "friends" did
  8. I started telling the token jokes
    It's not as bad when you tell the jokes and everyone says you're "so funny"
  9. I got into skateboarding and got really good at soccer
    I needed any and every deflection
  10. Drinking helped quite a bit eventually
  11. I eventually became distant and cold
    I was too shy to always fight back, and didn't want to ostracize myself either
  12. And I now can't help but think how it could have all been different
  13. What I could've accomplished in HS if I didn't have to also figure out how to "be" black
  14. 😬
    There's almost too much to recall for this list