African-America Reflection

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Making my way into the back of my first Yellow Cab of Columbus last year, I noticed the taxi driver staring at me through his mirrors. After a couple minutes of complete silence, he finally asked me where I was from. I explained to him that I was from a small town near the mountains in North Carolina. With a puzzled look on his face, he resumed to ask me “what I was” with no hesitation. Without fully understanding his question, I hesitantly replied that I am African American. With disbelief, he asked me what my parents were. When my answer was the same, he laughed and tried to convince me that I was actually Somalian, like him. I merely laughed with him because this was not the first and most likely not the last that I will encounter the “what…show more content…
Furthermore, I am aware that in some situations, being Black and African-American will benefit me. Ohio State has exposed me to a lot of great things, but it has been a journey to say at the least. Back home, I had to deal with the dilemma that I was “too Black” for the White people I associated with. My first two years of college, I tried to make myself seem “less White” because I realized that most of the Black people I was hanging around were familiar being around other Blacks, had similar styles, spoke the same lingo, and listened to the same music. To be honest, I stereotyped against my own people. I told myself that I needed to wear this brand of clothes and have my hair this way because I would not be seen as “Black,” therefore not accepted. I was conflicted and it showed throughout my behavior and attitude. I became withdrawn because I was confused about who I was. I spent too much time trying to figure out the person I thought I needed to be, instead of just being comfortable in my own skin. The only person who ever questioned my true identity (not concerning race or ethnicity) was me. Throughout grade school, most of my friends were White, besides the handful of Hispanics and Blacks that were present. However, in college, my friend group mainly consists of Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. Not that I do not like hanging out with my White peers, I just feel a special connection with my minority friends that I never experienced with my White friends. I have a new profound perspective into the life of an Asian person or another Black person that I never had the opportunity to see before. More importantly, I have an understanding of my identity because I can mold my values based on the similarities and differences that I see while being associated with a diverse group of
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