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Every time I get the question, “How does your hair not fall out if you only wash it every two weeks?” I calmly reply, “It’s a black thing.”
Before moving to Oakland, I never really thought about being black. Growing up in Atlanta, my whole world was black. Black history was taught frequently in school– before and beyond the month of February.
So when I began getting asked questions like, “Why can’t black girls get their hair wet?,” or “Are you good at basketball?” I was ready to write people off as racists. But what did that solve?
So instead I became a self-appointed Ambassador of Blackness. My mission was to dispel misconceptions of what it’s like to be black in America.
My parents always said “You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.” And it’s true, I don’t have to entertain people’s ignorance, but if I don’t take the opportunity to educate them, can I really complain?
I realized being proud of my heritage doesn’t mean being angry at those who don’t understand it. We all come from different worlds, and for the greater good, I’ll gladly share a piece of mine.