I stumbled across this brilliant site today. It’s the British alternative to ‘I Too Am Harvard’ and unfortunately I could relate to many of the ignorant comments which were aimed at these students. It staggers me that certain people still go round- IN 2014!!! -and say ‘Oh, I was pleasantly surprised, you speak really well’ to those who are not of the same hue as them. I mean, what the actual f***? Just…why would anybody say such a thing to another person? Woe betide the dipstick who says that to me one day. As for the hair issue- why do some people think it’s OK for them to touch your hair without asking? Like you are owned by the public and they think, ‘Well, you shouldn’t mind- you should be happy’ because people want to stare goggle-eyed while they stroke your hair like you’re a goat or something.
This happened to me a couple of times when I had natural hair. I’d be having a conversation with someone and suddenly their hands would move towards your head, forcing me to dodge out of their way before asking what they think they’re doing. I find it baffling, for if a white woman who usually sports straight hair turned up one day with curls, most people would tell her that her hair looks lovely/awful and carry on. They wouldn’t paw at her hair like she’s an animal. But even though more black women are now wearing their hair in unrelaxed form, some people still think there’s nothing wrong in behaving this way.
That said, ignorance runs both ways. Years ago, an ex-colleague (who was black) once said to me that I sounded ‘Caucasian’ because of the way I spoke. Not quite sure how she expected me to sound considering I was born and raised in London my whole life. Maybe she thought I should have a transatlantic twang to my accent or that I should sound ‘more black’, a phrase that I despise.
Anyway, ranting over- have a look at this site and you’ll also laugh and shake your head in equal measure.