If you find yourself introducing a person as ‘not’ their skin color so that they are accepted; you’re a part of a huge problem. That’s exclusively passive racism. You’re dismissing a major part of an individual and is immediately telling them how you feel about them and their ancestors. Their family and their loved ones, who will for sure be the same color as they are. I recently got introduced to a non-black poc by another non-black poc as ‘isn’t’ black. It sat so weird with me and felt like a punch to the gut. I understand that I am just a hippie, very open minded, too liberal kinda weird but uber fun type of person. I am also still a black person. There isn’t one type of black. I don’t need to be prefaced. IT was a black ass moment that made me feel like I betrayed my ‘skinfolk’. Like, do I act so removed from regular black people that I am seen as not? Wondering, how much ‘black-er’ can I be? I am me. Is there no space safe for me to be exclusively black with different tastes, value systems and not be judged for it? It sure felt like they were saying black is something to be ashamed of or that a preface is needed prior to interacting with me. I know they meant that I’m not the typical black your racist ass parents raised you to fear. I get it, I am weird af and it throws people off all the time with my ways. I am pretty unusual and is often ‘allowed’ into mixed spaces because to be honest I code switch well; however I am BLACK. IT was a message to not look at her colour, look beyond to her personality and ways of being. Additionally, don’t be afraid of her because she won’t fight you or be loud or angry/aggressive or make you scared. This came up while discussing a very black ass album, where the black artiste spoke on precisely things like this. Then here is a non-black poc listening and vibing to music that does not speak to their ‘livity’ and completely just not understand the message. Recently, I mentioned to a friend that being black is hard and it is moments like that that makes you become racist yourself. When you genuinely just want to get through your day and not overdo anything or be intentionally segregated but people want to remind you that you’re black. I felt like the token black and have literally said to myself, this is what you get. Don’t ever push too hard to be in spaces that do not serve you. At the end of the day all they see is your color. This conversation was between 2 managers and myself and I couldn’t help but add a corporate layer to this. Recognizing that this just may be how they really see black people of color. If you think token blacks don’t disown themselves to fit in, best believe they do. You would have to ‘kee-kee’ and be happy with learning that you’re being welcomed/accepted because you are unlike other people with your skin color. There is a need to prove you’re not a danger before others accept you and that involves being like them in EVERY way. I’ll pass on that. Thanks. I am my blackness and my blackness is me. All the time.