Yesterday my homey in the cubicle to the left asked me where my family was from. Now him and I have quasi-clashed over this before whenever culture has come up…he has a weird reaction when say I am from NY and I don’t claim another country…but this was the first time he outright asked me what I was.
In NY I seem to have the reverse problem I had in Indiana…not to the same degree but the same issue. People seem confused when I tell them I am Black. In Indiana it might have been because they never worked with an AA in their department but here…it seems everyone is from another country but me and they think something is wrong with that. In my immediate area we are…Russian, Columbian, Albanian, Jamaican, French and little ol’ me…so I can see why they wouldn’t believe me. I try to save them the history lesson they missed in public school by keeping “Negro Michelle” out of corporate settings…lol…but he deserved a glimpse…
Homey to the Left: Michelle, where is your family from?
HTL: No…like where else?
Me: North and South Carolina?
HTL: No…further back?
HTL: What country? Like Kenya, Ghana?
Me: I don’t know.
HTL: What do you mean? Why not?
Me: Well…there was this little thing called “slavery” that makes it virtually impossible to trace my roots that far back…I know my ancestors were slaves in the South and that’s about it.
HTL: Yeah…I think I heard of that. (nervous sarcasm…realizes he should change subject…and he does)
So I think I laid that topic to rest. Lol.
I don’t mind when people ask me about my heritage…but lets refrain from shoving ones foot so far down one’s throat. Thanks, Management.
And now…a happy nappy interlude…