Let’s Talk About Race: The Black Girl

Say it Rah-shay By Aug 09, 2013 4 Comments

Last weekend I attended a party with Effin Guy and my sister.  When Effin Guy and I arrived I immediately felt like I didn’t belong; aside from my sister and myself there were one I was the only other minority. I cannot say why I felt so uncomfortable; perhaps it was being out of my element at the party. (I am not a party person preferring to hang out with a book and some choice TV). It could have been that this was a conservative group; there were lots of conversations about “The Party” and upcoming races (I am an Obamamama and proud of it). It could have been that I really did not know the other people in attendance; It was the party of a family member of a mutual friend of Effin Guy and My sister and someone that I know through The Bee’s school. While we are friendly enough she had huge party to run and couldn’t keep me comfortable all night.

I womaned up and stayed for the party eventually relaxing enough to enjoy some food and conversation. Later on as my sister and I did a PM – Post Mortem – (a chat we do after some type of event where we just need to vent) we both agreed that while there was no one event that made us uncomfortable we did have a distinct feeling of being BLACK.


I know I am a Black Woman. I see myself in the mirror as I get dressed. I see it in the face of my daughter who looks a little like her dad and a lot like me. But what does that mean to be Black? I still like to think of myself as a person who likes yarn, books, trash TV and worrying about my teen. But I feel like I have so many roles to play: Rachee at work, Rachee at home, Rachee with Effin Guy that I cannot NOT think about race.


Conversations about race are difficult.  While I have a decent relationship with most people I often worry find myself pausing before speaking out against something because I worry that I will be labeled “Angry Black Girl” or “difficult to work with.” I tread carefully; I once had a co-worker accuse me of being hard to talk to when I complained about a program but later had a peer tell me I was not assertive enough. Sometimes I wonder if my skin isn’t thick enough; I’ve heard people complain about my section of the library and I have to remind myself not to take it personally but are some of the slights directed at me due to my lousy shelf upkeep or due to it being MY section?


So how do I get comfortable asserting myself? Standing up for myself? Believing in myself?

I always reflect, “Is it me?” I know there are times that I come with the crazy and I have to be honest enough to see how my actions and behaviors are affecting the situation.

When I see that *I* am not the one, I then look externally and more often it can be the other person, it could be something independent of me and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

And what could I have done about that party? I did chat with a friend of Effin Guy’s about recipes and that was a start.  I suppose I could have chatted with the other parents that I knew  We could have played a few rounds of mom bingo and then started chatting about what our respective kids were doing for the summer.


This one incident made me feel for every person who may get caught in a situation in which they are the lone person of color. Faking it until I made it worked but I can only imagine having to experience that feeling of not quite being accepted but tolerated. It was draining and unnerving and it sucked.


Effing Guy and I spoke about it the next day and he started to apologize. I let him know that he did nothing wrong but was kind of glad t hat he didn’t ignore my thoughts. This opened another opportunity for us to talk about our differences and where we are coming from. Sometimes it’s not easy but it’s necessary and since we have started these conversations it’s getting much easier to be open.




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I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Gina B says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I think we need to talk about race and diversity a lot more and stop thinking it’s not an issue anymore. I don’t know anyone who’s comfortable with it, and I know quite a few who have zero idea that they are being racist when they things that truly shock me. I can’t know how you feel, but my husband once got invited to a party by a coworker who liked him and warned, “You WILL be the only white people there.” We were definitely stared at, but others made us feel comfortable too and we had as much fun as I could have at a party – back then I was terminally shy, and disliked any party I didn’t throw myself! I’d rather be home with a book too 🙂

  2. Heather M says:

    I have definitely been in situations of being a minority and I think no matter who you are it IS awkward. You can’t help but FEEL stared at when you feel so glaringly different.Imagine being a white girl in Africa and standing in front of over 200 African people singing Happy Birthday to you in Swahili, or walking with 12 other white people through the very “black” township that a white girl was killed in a few decades ago and where there is still white/black unrest. In other words, I know the feeling. I also took my sis to a clinic in UD where we were the only white people and yeah, they blatantly stared at us. It is very uncomfortable.

  3. Linda M. Hunter says:

    I don’t have a website, found you by Pinterest, don’t know where or what a code is. Doubt this will get to you but I would like to share about race as relates to me.

  4. Linda M. Hunter says:

    I am 68 years old, Caucasian, and grew up in a very conservative Southern Baptist family in Florida. I had very little contact with what we called “colored” people at that time. My cleaning woman and the maid at my mother’s dress shop (she worked there part-time) are the only ones I had any contact with. Never touched a “black” (hate the terms black and white) person until I welcomed a young couple to church in Idaho. It was just the way things were in the 1940s, 1950s, change began in 1960s, some great and some not so good changes. Now, the only reason I would hesitate speaking to a black woman is fear of offending her. We are all the same to God, black & white, Jew & Greek, male & female. God bless you, Rachee.

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