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Black History Month: The first time I realized I was black.

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Malyse

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http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/us/first-time-i-realized-i-was-black/

W. E. Burghardt Du Bois said:
It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first burst upon one, all in a day, as it were. I remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghanic to the sea. In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys' and girls' heads to buy gorgeous visiting-cards—ten cents a package—and exchange. The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card,—refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.

When I was about seven or eight years old, I was a very outgoing child and tended to spend most of my days outside running and playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. Before we went home each night, we would make plans to meet at one house or another for the next day's play. On this day, I asked my relatively new friend if we could play over his house tomorrow, but was told no because "my dad doesn't like black people". That was the first time I realized I was black.

Please feel free to share yours as well.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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I grew up in a pretty evenly split (white/black/Latino) area so nothing that egregious, but I do remember store clerks tailing me in toys r us while other kids were literally running around the store manhandling stuff
 

pizzacat

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Nov 10, 2014
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Can some of the white gaffers explain to me why is there so much hatred in the the white community for black people? White supremacy is synonymous with white culture but I never hear white people take responsibility for white racism.
This is my favorite month of the year
 

MindofKB

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Can some of the white gaffers explain to me why is there so much hatred in the the white community for black people? White supremacy is synonymous with white culture but I never hear white people take responsibility for white racism.

You're just flipping the argument switch immediately, eh?
 

Dominator

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Apr 20, 2014
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Can some of the white gaffers explain to me why is there so much hatred in the the white community for black people? White supremacy is synonymous with white culture but I never hear white people take responsibility for white racism.
White supremacy is synonymous with white culture? You for real?
 

GrizzleBoy

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Jul 25, 2013
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Can some of the white gaffers explain to me why is there so much hatred in the the white community for black people? White supremacy is synonymous with white culture but I never hear white people take responsibility for white racism.

I don't know if this will get the response you're looking for.

Or maybe it will.
 

Slayven

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When I was 7 or 8 i got invited to a classmate's birthday party. I was so excited, when we got there, there was confederate flags hanging up in a wooded area with balloons and party stuff. Everyone was looking at us and you could hear a pin drop. My mom dropped the present on the table and said we had to go. Then we had a long talk in the car on the ride home
 

DeathoftheEndless

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When I was about seven or eight years old, I was a very outgoing child and tended to spend most of my days outside running and playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. Before we went home each night, we would make plans to meet at one house or another for the next day's play. On this day, I asked my relatively new friend if we could play over his house tomorrow, but was told no because "my dad doesn't like black people". That was the first time I realized I was black.

Damn, that's rough.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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I'm going to wager ol boy's whopping 300 or so posts since 2009 mean he was just trying to start some shit

Can we get that cleaned up please
 

Peltz

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Can some of the white gaffers explain to me why is there so much hatred in the the white community for black people? White supremacy is synonymous with white culture but I never hear white people take responsibility for white racism.

Wow dude. Way to destroy a great OP.

When I was 7 or 8 i got invited to a classmate's birthday party. I was so excited, when we got there, there was confederate flags hanging up in a wooded area with balloons and party stuff. Everyone was looking at us and you could hear a pin drop. My mom dropped the present on the table and said we had to go. Then we had a long talk in the car on the ride home

Goddamn dude. That's horrifying.
 

Malyse

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When I was 7 or 8 i got invited to a classmate's birthday party. I was so excited, when we got there, there was confederate flags hanging up in a wooded area with balloons and party stuff. Everyone was looking at us and you could hear a pin drop. My mom dropped the present on the table and said we had to go. Then we had a long talk in the car on the ride home

Jesus. I feel for your mom. I would hate having that conversation.

Naw, not quoting the fuckery.
 

Afrocious

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Outside of that weird first post, I'm kinda confused about what the point of this is. I saw stories posted on the internet about people saying when they realized they were black and didn't buy into what I figure is an attempt at garnering empathy.

Maybe I find it corny. Not sure.

I'd rather folks talk about how they got singled out because they were black instead of treating it like some sort of transcendental stuff.
 

Numb

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When I was 7 or 8 i got invited to a classmate's birthday party. I was so excited, when we got there, there was confederate flags hanging up in a wooded area with balloons and party stuff. Everyone was looking at us and you could hear a pin drop. My mom dropped the present on the table and said we had to go. Then we had a long talk in the car on the ride home

 
Jun 19, 2013
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When I was 7 or 8 i got invited to a classmate's birthday party. I was so excited, when we got there, there was confederate flags hanging up in a wooded area with balloons and party stuff. Everyone was looking at us and you could hear a pin drop. My mom dropped the present on the table and said we had to go. Then we had a long talk in the car on the ride home

Cot damn
 

Malyse

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Outside of that weird first post, I'm kinda confused about what the point of this is. I saw stories posted on the internet about people saying when they realized they were black and didn't buy into what I figure is an attempt at garnering empathy.

Maybe I find it corny. Not sure.

I'd rather folks talk about how they got singled out because they were black instead of treating it like some sort of transcendental stuff.

My personal history is also black history
 
Aug 22, 2014
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I'm white so I don't have anything personal to share but I will say the most heartbreaking thing I've heard from a black coworker of mine is when she described having to explain to one of her young boys after a racist encounter that some people are going to hate him simply for his skin.
 

Slate Soda

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Outside of that weird first post, I'm kinda confused about what the point of this is. I saw stories posted on the internet about people saying when they realized they were black and didn't buy into what I figure is an attempt at garnering empathy.

Maybe I find it corny. Not sure.

I'd rather folks talk about how they got singled out because they were black instead of treating it like some sort of transcendental stuff.

Yeah, I'm not sure if having an existential realization of your race is a commonly shared black experience, which is why I find this sort of discussion to be contrived.
 

Slayven

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Outside of that weird first post, I'm kinda confused about what the point of this is. I saw stories posted on the internet about people saying when they realized they were black and didn't buy into what I figure is an attempt at garnering empathy.

Maybe I find it corny. Not sure.

I'd rather folks talk about how they got singled out because they were black instead of treating it like some sort of transcendental stuff.

Not about getting sympathy. About letting people know our experiences
 

stuminus3

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When I was 7 or 8 i got invited to a classmate's birthday party. I was so excited, when we got there, there was confederate flags hanging up in a wooded area with balloons and party stuff. Everyone was looking at us and you could hear a pin drop. My mom dropped the present on the table and said we had to go. Then we had a long talk in the car on the ride home
:(

I want you to come to my birthday party.
 

SolVanderlyn

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I'm white, but I have the opposite story.

I had a friend named Jeremy in kindergarten. He was black. I used to invite him over to my house to play, but his parents eventually didn't let him come over anymore. I later learned that they didn't feel comfortable letting their kid play at a white kid's home.

Keep in mind this was in Virginia in the 90's. Racism (and general asshole-ism) was kind of a thing there, so their apprehension was probably somewhat justified (although I didn't know it then). I was upset I couldn't have him over anymore though.
 

botty

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why do you care?
I grew up in the most culturally rich and famous black area in the United States, so I been knew. 👏🏾 And nothing after was a surprise, but an expectation.
 

Mattakuevan

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I know its not the same at all, but I remember the day I wasnt "allowed" to play with my black friend anymore.

Took me a while to figure out why, he was just a good friend to me, so why didn't my parents like him?

He knew what was going on, and we stopped hanging out after that. Got back in contact with him some time ago, we laugh about it now but it was still super fucked up.

In hindsight, ill never forgive my parents for doing that.
 

Malyse

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Yeah, I'm not sure if having an existential realization of your race is a commonly shared black experience, which is why I find this sort of discussion to be contrived.

The fact that you made this post is itself a reason to have this thread. You clearly don't have a grasp on the black experience so you *really* should take this opportunity to educate yourself.

Also, I've got 20 videos that beg to differ.
 

Peltz

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I don't see many places this topic was going to go anyway; might as well cut to the chase.

Okay then, black people have many allies who are white and who completely recognize and try their best to empathize with the injustices faced by black people in our society. Many white people are advocates on behalf of black people within their own communities, households, in government, in education, and in the private sector. Myself, I have advocated on behalf of minority victims - pro bono - when they suffered employment discrimination. And yes, I am white.

To say it's "white culture" to be apologetically racist is taking on a very monolithic and one dimensional view of white people. I also don't even know what that phrase even means... WTF is white culture? I've never heard any of my friends in real life (of any background) ever use that phrase.
 

kamineko

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Since it's a point of discussion, I want to say that I like the thread idea and the OP and am genuinely interested in the experiences of GAF folks
 

Slayven

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I think that is the reason the first thought in my mind when seeing a confederate flag is "no trespassing"
 
Aug 22, 2014
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Since it's a point of discussion, I want to say that I like the thread idea and the OP and am genuinely interested in the experiences of GAF folks

Same. Part the problem, particularly for white people such as myself, is ignorance. Reading the experiences of other people helps remedy that to a degree.
 

Already Torn

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Okay then, black people have many allies who are white and who completely recognize and try their best to empathize with the injustices faced by black people in our society. Many white people are advocates on behalf of black people within their own communities, households, in government, in education, and in the private sector. Myself, I have advocated on behalf of minority victims - pro bono - when they suffered employment discrimination. And yes, I am white.

To say it's "white culture" to be apologetically racist is taking on a very monolithic and one dimensional view of white people. I also don't even know what that phrase even means... WTF is white culture? I've never heard any of my friends in real life (of any background) ever use that phrase.
White culture in America is that stuff you're allowed to put into mainstream movies and video games without someone saying "why do we need to get political".
 

brinstar

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Not the first time but the one that I always remember is when I was dating my first gf. She was white and once while on a walk this white guy came up to us and whispered in my ear "black and white don't mix" really threateningly.
 

Ghgghggh

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Aug 21, 2016
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Can some of the white gaffers explain to me why is there so much hatred in the the white community for black people? White supremacy is synonymous with white culture but I never hear white people take responsibility for white racism.

My favorite author, explains this sort of hate quite eloquently. Basically, in order for one culture to rationalize their horrific enslavement of another culture they must dehumanized the enslaved culture. They must see the enslaved culture as less then human. They must jump through these psychological hoops in order to rationalize the atrocities they commit. The hate comes from this. 😞
 

Malyse

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Let me say one more time:
http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/us/first-time-i-realized-i-was-black/

Watch this. It's where the idea for the thread came from.

I shared this with my mom and she told me about hers:

When she was a little girl, like many little girls she was thrilled by the Miss America pageants. She expressed to her mother (my grandma) how much she would love to be in the pageant when she was older. My grandma explained to her that the Miss America pageant wasn't for people like us, just white folks. Keep in mind that this was in the fifties and first black winner Vanessa Williams wouldn't be crowned until 1983. It's also worth noting that she was forced to resign when Penthouse magazine published unauthorized nude photographs of her near the end of her reign.
 

Shinypogs

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Not quite the same but about 6 years back I realized I'm insufficiently black.

I was trialing at a black owned restaurant and everyone wanted to know what kind of black I was. Where did my family come from, did I know any other languages, what was my history and culture? It was disheartening as hell to have to explain I didn't know, I'm just you know Canadian. I was raised by my single white mom and I know my ancestry is polish/ English/Scottish on her side but I knew little about my dad's familys ancestry. All day I got to see people talking about being Haitian and Jamaican, from this part of Africa or the west indies, people laughing and celebrating their blackness.

Even my half sister gets to claim she is Saint Lucian. I'm just you know.. black with all the downsides and no claim to a culture or community of my own.
 

Derwind

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I might have been 8 years old when a 70 something White man told me to wash the "yoohoo" out of my mouth.

Took me 3 years after to realize "yoohoo" was a chocolate drink.

The jokes on him though, I've never seen a yoohoo bottle in Canada in my life.
 
Feb 11, 2014
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when i was 12 and my mom changed a 73 yr old racist woman into a friend when my mom was trying to buy a house from her and they only talked on the phone up until she was going to sign the papers. Sadly the woman died 2 months later and we had to deal with her still racist kids and grandkids
 

LionPride

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Jul 12, 2015
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It took a while for me to realize I was viewed as different. I went to a diverse elementary school. Had Hispanic, Latino, Brown, Asian, White, and Black friends. Their parents liked me and never treated me differently. Then something happened a few years ago, when I was 13 that made me realize how different I am seen as a black guy.

Now I had teachers and parents tell me I spoke so well, I am articulate, I don't talk like how I look, but I didn't know what that meant at the time
 

tbm24

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Apr 17, 2013
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I had somewhat of a similar experience but that was with being my mix of Brown/tan. My mothers skin is a number of shades darker than me but my dad and older brother are white. It didn't hit me till I got to high school and I learned the first day how the cafeteria was going to be divided ethinicuty wise(majority white private catholic school).The black and Spanish table called me over as I aimlessly wandered around without any clear place I could sit comfortably. From them on I never looked at myself in the mirror the same again.
 

harSon

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I was 6-7 years old at the time, and I was at a grocery store with my dad. I was home from school with a stomach ache, so he stayed home with me and took me on some errands. We were in line about to pay for our groceries, when this middle aged white dude pushed past other people in line and got in my dad's face - and started yelling "You know he did it. Ya'll know he did it. You just can't admit it cause you're black." This was on the day of the OJ trial verdict.
 

Malyse

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I was 6-7 years old at the time, and I was at a grocery store with my dad. I was home from school with a stomach ache, so he stayed home with me and took me on some errands. We were in line about to pay for our groceries, when this middle aged white dude pushed past other people in line and got in my dad's face - and started yelling "You know he did it. Ya'll know he did it. You just can't admit it cause you're black." This was on the day of the OJ trial verdict.

Jesus. That dude sounds mentally ill.

Incidentally, I remember that day because I got extra credit for correctly guessing the trial outcome.
 

Skilletor

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It took a while for me to realize I was viewed as different. I went to a diverse elementary school. Had Hispanic, Latino, Brown, Asian, White, and Black friends. Their parents liked me and never treated me differently. Then something happened a few years ago, when I was 13 that made me realize how different I am seen as a black guy.

Now I had teachers and parents tell me I spoke so well, I am articulate, I don't talk like how I look, but I didn't know what that meant at the time

I didn't realize this type of stuff until I was in high school. Even then, I thought it was a compliment. Now I look back and it just makes me angry.,
 

BossDarkseid

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My favorite author, explains this sort of hate quite eloquently. Basically, in order for one culture to rationalize their horrific enslavement of another culture they must dehumanized the enslaved culture. They must see the enslaved culture as less then human. They must jump through these psychological hoops in order to rationalize the atrocities they commit. The hate comes from this. 😞

Ta Nehisi Coates?

Read one of his books the other week and it sounds familiar.
 

OG Shaka Zulu

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Dec 9, 2016
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The first time I realized I was unwelcome was around 5-6 years old. A combination of my mom warning me to keep my hands out of my pocket when we were in stores and classmates telling me to go back to Africa.
 

D i Z

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Outside of that weird first post, I'm kinda confused about what the point of this is. I saw stories posted on the internet about people saying when they realized they were black and didn't buy into what I figure is an attempt at garnering empathy.

Maybe I find it corny. Not sure.

I'd rather folks talk about how they got singled out because they were black instead of treating it like some sort of transcendental stuff.

So nothing to share then?
 
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