A Question of Blackness


The Mirror

When I was at school I used to be accused by a small group of arseholes of not being black enough.  This was mainly due to my complexion (I have albinism), my obsession with Backstreet boys (AJ was my favourite) and my mostly white circle of friends.

On one occasion I was alone, walking to the bus stop and a girl from a few years below me made a point of saying (loud enough for me to hear) “Urgh!  If I looked like that I would kill myself.  I love my colour”.  She was right to love her colour, she had a beautifully dark complexion but I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself some weeks later when said girl’s ponytail, which, despite the protestations of her friends and anyone with eyes, she insisted was her real hair, fell out in the lunch queue.  Or was it pulled out?  I can’t quite remember, I only remember seeing it on the floor and thinking how strange it was that a person could be so proud and ashamed of themselves at the same time.

Let me pause here for a moment and explain that the ponytail itself wasn’t the issue but rather her insistence on passing it off as her own hair. Not every girl or woman with a weave or clip-on hair has identity issues.
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