An open letter addressing my friend who asked me what it’s like to be black:

A peer of mine recently asked me “what it’s like to be black.” At the time, I had no idea how I should answer this question, but I hope this provides some insight. (Disclaimer, this is just my own personal experience).

As a black girl, I typically wake up between 5:50 and 6:00 AM (after hitting the snooze button around seven times).

As a black girl, I’ll get dressed, brush my teeth, and feed my dog, Mango.

As a black girl, I’ll grab a bagel, my backpack, and my keys, and I’ll head out the door.

As a black girl, I’ll go to my 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th period, then to practice, then I’ll shower, eat dinner with my family, check Instagram, get tutored in math, and then study.

This cycle typically repeats itself.

How boring, I know.

People will assume that— as a black girl— I’ve listened to the latest Kendrick Lamar, 21 Savage, or any other (insert popular black rapper here) song when in reality, I haven’t.

Imagine having to be taught at the young age of 5 to be constantly aware of who you are as well as your actions because of the color of your skin. Imagine constantly questioning if who you are is good enough for people. Imagine shopping at stores and being followed because the color of your skin makes you suspicious in someone else’s eyes. Imagine hearing you’re pretty,

for a black girl.

And truthfully, I have always operated from a mindset where I have to be aware of my chocolate skin because I know that that will always be the first thing that people notice when I walk into a room.  Feelings of inadequacy are part of the human struggle, and because of this, I believe that my purpose and partnership with everyone around me is to bring light to these expectancies.

But, at the end of the day, I’ll still shower, brush my teeth, maybe watch an episode of The Office, and then go to bed.

See? I’m just like you.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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