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My parents were the second Black family to move onto a street. They moved next to the other Black family.

Well, my mother tells a story about the little white neighbor boy of about 5 who came over to the house everyday for about two weeks, just to talk with my mother. Then, one day he said to my mother "We're moving and I think you really should too." My mother asked him "why?" He looked around to see if anyone was looking and said, "because the ni@@ers are coming." My mother asked him, "What's a ni@@er?" The boy said, "I don't know, but they must be some kind of mean bad bug, because mom says they cause nothing but a whole lotta trouble when they get out of their place.
I have always been aware of my race and that it made me different. As I child, I was surrounded my community leaders and they discussed our communities issues. I lived in an all black community, but mingled with whites on a semi-social level. I felt for a long time that my race made me special because of our struggles and success in spite of it.

I remember visiting my grandmother in Birmingham Alabama. There were many places that she would not take me because they had been previously segregated and she had been denied admittance growing up.

My first personal racial altercation was at Lenox mall in Atlanta when I was 15. I was alone and passed a group of white kids. There were two boys and around 6 girls. One white boy left the group and ran ahead to follow me and speak to me. Later the girls followed me into the restroom and cornered me. They hurled racial slurs until a group of white girls I didn't know, but recognized from ice skating class pulled me out of there.
My first race based memory was when I was eight years old in the third grade. We were reading a book (can't remember the name) that dealt with the south while slavery still existed. I had a teacher from the phillipines who informed us that the white slave masters would rape "the pretty Black slave girls". She then went on to say "I'd feel sorry you two Jasmine & Vanessa (we were the only two Black girls in the class) and the whole class laughed including Vanessa. Needless to say, I didn't find it funny.
A memory that sticks in my mind is when I was 18 (this was in the 1990s), and I decided to wear my hair in an afro. I, also, have a very strong-looking nose so, every other BLACK person I encountered gave me sh*tty treatment("friends" & strangers alike), making nasty remarks that it's a 70's hairstyle (like that decade was the only appropriate time to be be wearing my hair like that-never mind the fact that that was the way my hair naturally looked without that f*ckin S-Curl sh*t). What made matters worse was that I was very articulate, so when BLACK people would hear me speak, they'd question my "Blackness". Here I was being harshly criticized BY BLACK PEOPLE for looking "too black", and for not "acting black" enough...Damned if I do,Damned if I don't. It was at this confusing moment that I was getting a taste of what it felt to be a second-class citizen, thanks to my "brothers & sisters".
I really cannot say when I remember, as I am getting older. I do remember however as a child wishing I had yt folks hair, because I thought that would make the girls like me. I was in about the second grade at that time. I think the first time I ran into hate because of who I was was about 13 that was in the sixties we moved into a nieghborhood that was changing from white to black, and walking home from school we were called n****** and spit at
Peace Ifayomi
My first race based memory was when I was about 6 years old; my family moved from South Philly, which was a sea of all different cultures, to the Northeast, where every face I saw was a White one. I had to go through the whole nine of changing schools and on my first day my teacher asked me what I what I was. I didn't even understand the woman. But my aunt was behind me and told her I was Black and Puerto Rican. Next thing I know she writes a zero by my name on a list full where everyone had a one by theirs. I didn't know what those numbers meant but all I could remember feeling was wanting to be a ten or something. Anything but a zero. I was only six but I still understood that zero was a crappy number; and from all the cartoons I watched anything good was either 1st place or number 1. All year 'round as I struggled to make friends and find a face that looked like mine it reminded me of that damn zero. Zero to me was a "nothing number" and realizing I was different because I was Black made me wonder if they thought I was nothing because I wasn't White. It took me years to understand that it's all a bunch of statistical nonsense and didn't have anything to do with me as a Black person.
My first racial experiences was through my family growing up in Brooklyn, NY during the 70's.

I was the darkest kid in my family and my brother and sister let me know that in no uncertain terms. They and people in my hood called me "Blackie" and said you can't see me in the dark, all of the negative Black jokes of that time. My Grandma told them to leave me alone, that I just stayed in the oven a little longer than they did.

Of course i've been called ni99er by some cowardly white dudes who always seemed to be in a car or truck when they said it.

Boy have I flipped the script!
Today I am very happy to be the Black Nationalist/militant in my family and love giving my siblings lessons on Black history whenever possible.

I thank my siblings for innoculating me with that negative name calling. It actually prepared me for what I would face as I grew into a Black man.
I was in third grade and had no idea people were different. As a matter of fact, I had no idea roads were smooth until I went to first grade, when we came down out of the hills and were no longer bumping along on the dirt road, I thought the bus was broken.
We had some extra time after school for a project for which I don't remember but the Jackson 5 came on the radio singing ABC123 and my buddy Gary jumped up and said I'm black and I'm proud. I looked at him and said you're not black, you're brown; we argued back and forth for a while and then I pointed at the blackboard and said that's black, you're not black, and he looked at me and said you're not white. What? Of course I'm not white, we're sitting here writing on paper, that's white, what are you talking about? Heh, I think we settled on crayola crayon colors.
I don't really recall a particular instance they made me understand I was different. I feel I always knew. Just like I always new I was different from girls.

But one instance that I can recall about racial differences was when I was in about the 4th or 5th grade. We had just gotten back from summer break and one of the white kids was really "red". So I asked him what was wrong. He asked what I meant. I asked what was wrong with his skin why he was so red. He said that he wasn't red but was tanned. I looked at him and then myself and said no YOU are red I AM tan. So he had to explain to me the process of sun bathing and getting a tan.
Smile
The first time I became racially aware was in the 2nd Grade. I still remember it clearly.

I was talking in class to one of my White classmates back when I lived in Alaska. He responded to one of my comments very loudly, and the teacher looked at us. She told me to go stand in the corner in time out, and just told my friend to stop talking and pay attention.

My second racial encounter was on the playground as a kid in the 2nd grade. I wanted to play on the slide, and some older White kids said that I couldn't and said, "It's not for your people, it's our turn." I asked them what they meant, and they said I was "too dark" to play with them. When I tried to slide anyway, the hit me with a stick and I punched one of them in the face. He hit back and I kept hitting him and his "girlfriend" started bopping me on the head while I was hitting him. Another kid bit my leg and ran off and let his dog out of his yard and said, "Sick 'em!" The dog ran up and bit me, and I grabbed a stick and jabbed the dog in the eye. The kids ran away to go tell their parents, and I ran inside to tell my parents and cover up the cut on my hand from where the dog bit me. My dad grabbed something (to this day, I don't remember, it may have been a gun) and he went to talk to the kids' parents. The parents were at first apathetic, and my dad told me to go away. When I came back, they were pretty apologetic (maybe he wanted me to go away while he cussed them out). After that day, those kids never really tried to stop me from playing, but they still made ugly comments sometimes.

The third racial incident was in the 3rd grade. The class was lining up for picture day. I got in line, and some White girl dashed ahead of me and jumped in front of me. She said, "Blacks can't cut in line, get behind me." I told the teacher and the teacher made her stay behind to talk with her personally. My fourth racial incident was in the 4th grade where a dark-skinned Black kid called me a "light-skinned nigger" (I'm light-skinned and I have hazel eyes, and back then my hair was more reddish, in South America I might almost be listed as a "Mulatto"). I never forgot that.


Growing up can be a b*tch, can't it? Frown Sometimes I almost wish I hand't become racially aware. Life was more simple back then. Frown
When I was about 5 or 6 years old I remember playing out near the street of where I lived.

I was a sand dobber you might say--I loved to play in the dirt!

Two teenaged white boys drove by and called me a nigger.

I just frowned and stared at their red car as they disappeared down the street...

Fine
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I think the first time I really became aware of my skin color was in the third grade. Ever since I'd been in school from like Pre-K to third grade, I had been in an all black christian school. Well then my mom fell on hard times and had to send us to this sort of public academy school, where there were other races. Well the first day at school we went out for recess and well I had started to play with this little white girl. Well we were climbing the jungle gym and she turned to me and said, "I'll be your friend if you promise not to steal my shoes." Now that hit me kind of strange because my shoes were better than hers. So I asked her why I would steal her shoes. She looked at me as if I should know and said, "Because my daddy says all you black people steal shoes." Even now I still remember thinking how I had never stolen anything and my mommy didn't steal. I looked at that girl and said "I don't think I want to play anymore, that really hurt my feelings." To be honest it still kind of hurts my feelings now.
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Me gusta(n?) todos me gusta todos, me gusta todos en general, pero es la rubia, pero es la rubia, pero es la rubia, mi gusta mas

I like them all, I like them all, I like them all in general, but I like the blondes, but I like the blondes, but I like the blondes the most

This song was taught to me, in my 4th grade class. We students were a mix of Hispanic, Philipino, Pacific Islander, White and Black. A relatively harmless song taught to children, but looking back on it as an adult, I wonder. For those knowledgeable in Spanish, forgive the incorrect spelling.
Really I don't remember not being race conscious. I was sort of raised with it. I think part of it stems from the fact that I was born on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. My family always used that as a way of making me feel special. Stevie Wonder had done that song and they always used to sing it to me and it was always played on my birthday so they had me believing that that song was as much about me as it was about him Big Grin So that was a part of it. I've known who he was and why he was important for as long as I was old enough to understand what a birthday was. Also, unlike many little girls I wasn't running around playing mama to a bunch of White doll babies. My mom always bought Black babydolls for me to play with and the more realistically african the features and hair were the more my mother and aunts made over how cute the doll was so I think that helped me to develop a less warped sense of beauty. I did have the same fairytale books that most people probably had as children, but my afrocentric godmother and other like-minded family members also saw to it that I had books of African folktales, and African-American poetry with pictures of little girls with braids, afros, and afro puffs. fro I've always had a fascination with our history. As a small child I was interested in watching documentaries with my parents and stuff like that. I just don't remember not being race conscious. Actually, I do remember wanting to be darker and I remember realizing that just wasn't going to happen. Confused lol but I learned to accept me and be comfortable in my own skin, as a matter of fact I'm loving it. bsm
Can't say on my first memory because my parents were always saying something bad about white people

But I do remember my first foreign racial moment. When I overheard a group of white south african soldiers talking about darkie US soldiers and I looked around and saw that I was the only one around in my squad. We were training together and low and behold I learn that foreign white people are racist too.

Needless to say, he was surprised at the amount of racism I spit back venomously at him and backed him down when I dropped my guns and threw a knife at his feet to back up his words. My CO told me to stand down, but that dude did not want anything to do with me or the other African American soldiers after that because he knew I was serious about one of us not walking away with his life and thought the others were too since they were bigger than myself LOL

Still it taught me that where ever we go we are looked upon as the lowest.....
Because of 'wham', which I am assuming is 'WHAM', I need to tell you a SHORT story.

During a rehearsal,shortly after I joined this 'rock group of my dreams', I kept hearing this odd rythymic sound behind me. I was the only non-European in the group.

The group's name at that time was 'Soulful Bowlful'. Needless to say, we specialized in Motown and such similar music. We were good.

The sound behind was the drummer going 'oney and a twoey and a oney and a twoey'.

I asked, 'John whar are you doing?' He said, 'Trying to pickup those accents. How do you guys DO that?

I told those accents are just the 'upstrokes' of each beat. It just happens.

He was really distressed. He finally left the group.

They aren't really 'looking down'.

They are fighting to hold you down.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Hello. I'm new around here and found this to be a very interesting question!

Let's see... my mother was very involved in the civil rights movement when I was growing up so I was very conscious of my blackness as far back as I can remember. But if you're asking the question in a 'social' context... I was on about 12 or 13, riding a bus with a white friend. The bus was very crowded so we had to stand. We happened to be standing in front of an elderly white woman. When the person next to her got up to leave, I was closest to the seat and began to sit down. The white woman put her hand up, barring me from sitting down and pulled at my white friend's coat sleeve, motioning her to sit. She sat. It took us a minute or two to figure out what was going on.... but slowly it dawned on us. We didn't say much to each other for the rest of the ride, and never discussed it.
quote:
Originally posted by safetyblitz:
Can't say on my first memory because my parents were always saying something bad about white people

But I do remember my first foreign racial moment. When I overheard a group of white south african soldiers talking about darkie US soldiers and I looked around and saw that I was the only one around in my squad. We were training together and low and behold I learn that foreign white people are racist too.

Needless to say, he was surprised at the amount of racism I spit back venomously at him and backed him down when I dropped my guns and threw a knife at his feet to back up his words. My CO told me to stand down, but that dude did not want anything to do with me or the other African American soldiers after that because he knew I was serious about one of us not walking away with his life and thought the others were too since they were bigger than myself LOL

Still it taught me that where ever we go we are looked upon as the lowest.....



I am glad that you confronted him the way you did and showed him up as the spineless sissies that most of them are.
I hate to jump in here.. .I feel I have no right.
Ya know... white people have no idea. I'm white and I am as ignorant in some respects as the rest. But I am trying to understand. Really. If only I could heal the hurt and pain and stupidity that has come out of the mouths of the whites you have met. My heart bleeds. It truly breaks my heart that any of this bullshit is endured. Everyone is beautiful, and full of love and hope. Everyone is precious and wonderful. That's all I can say.
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quote:
Watching a white cashier telling my mother to move aside so that a white woman behind her could go first. Is it me, or are most of the first experiences bad ones?


It's probably just that the bad ones are the most MEMORABLE. (she said with a bitter smile...)

Thinking back... the same white friend that I mentioned in my earlier post and I hung out together at school for several years. I think we bonded because she was one of the few Jews in the class and I was not the only black girl, but I was very shy. Anyway, we hung out together for 4 or 5 years, talked during and after school, did homework together occasionally at her place... and then one day, she called and told me not to come over because her aunt from some other state was coming to visit. Didn't register at the time what the problem was, until she went on to say that her aunt hadn't been around many blacks and her mother thought it was a good idea not to 'upset' her.

I didn't 'upset' the household AT ALL or anyone in it after that. When I told my mother what happened, she didn't tell me in so many words not to hang out with the girl anymore... but I started keeping my distance after that. I was probably around 13 or 14 at the time.
I remember being about four or five years old. My Aunt and her son were only the second African American family to move into a housing project which was mainly white at the time. A teenage white girl from several homes over started babysitting for my cousin and one day while we were in her care, she invited me into her home. Her father sat on his recliner reading the paper and after he saw me enter, he started making racial remarks and told me to get outside. I don't think I realized at the time that he was directing the insults toward me being that I wasn't yet aware of overt racism. I remeber leaving and waiting for the babysitter on the porch. I remember the girl telling her father to stop being so mean as she came to the door. I don't recall ever talking about the incident with my Aunt nor other family members. Looking back and over the years though, I see that the girl was from a very troubled environment, and picking on a child must have been the father's only way to feel a man even though he was truly a coward.
Watching a white cashier telling my mother to move aside so that a white woman behind her could go first. Is it me, or are most of the first experiences bad ones?Mr. Nice Guy

Similar experiences were not my first, but occurred for the years I had my parents.

The pain never, ever, goes away.

When I became older, I came to realize what my parents were doing. In some cases, it was for survival.

In many cases, it was for me.

When got 'big enough', that shit stopped.

I backed them off; often over the protest of my parents who feared I was endangering myself.

I told them they didn't have to protect me any more.

Sometimes it is the children who have to help the parents know when it time to 'turn the page'.


PEACE

Jim Chester
I was born and raised in South Central LA.. You grow up knowing to watch out for the LAPD police..Your born with that responsibility...My first concious race-based memory was when the LA riots took place..Our community was not protected..they were walking around letting folks do what they wanted as long as it didnt effect there community
Hi Folks! I'm new to this board and I thought this thread was the perfect place to start. My first race based experience wasn't negative, it was rather comical. I'm bi-racial (Dad-Black, Mom-White). When I was four we drove across the country to various states so I could meet family members on both sides of the family. When we got to California, my dad looked into the backseat and said we were going to meet my cousin Travis. I looked back and calmly asked him what color Travis was? My dad blew his top! He immediatley started lecturing me that it did not matter what color he was. My mom had to step in and remind him that I was only four and I had met alot of family over the past week, both black and white. I was just a kid trying to figure out what was comming next Big Grin. To this day my mother loves telling that story.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
Hi Folks! I'm new to this board and I thought this thread was the perfect place to start. My first race based experience wasn't negative, it was rather comical. I'm bi-racial (Dad-Black, Mom-White). When I was four we drove across the country to various states so I could meet family members on both sides of the family. When we got to California, my dad looked into the backseat and said we were going to meet my cousin Travis. I looked back and calmly asked him what color Travis was? My dad blew his top! He immediatley started lecturing me that it did not matter what color he was. My mom had to step in and remind him that I was only four and I had met alot of family over the past week, both black and white. I was just a kid trying to figure out what was comming next Big Grin. To this day my mother loves telling that story.


When my youngest son was in Little League, I often could not get home in time to dirve him to practice. So he would often walk.

One of the mothers saw him walking on such an occasion and wait at the corner with the other kids and she would give him a ride. The kids waiting on the corner were from various teams. It was a convenient pickup point for many.

They were all European, except my kid of course.

So my Mark said, 'O.K. I'll be the one in the red hat.'


You gotta love 'em

PEACE

And welcome

Jim Chester
At work I supervise a predominantly white office. At a recent office gathering at a restaurant one of my empoyees brought her children to the lunch. Her children are bi-racial (she's white and her husband is black).

Needless to say lots of strangers thought I was the father as I was seated next to her. I almost wanted to yell out "hey these aren't my kids" especially since I had to hold the little darnings.

I guess my point is that there is nothing worse than assumptions.

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