An African American reader, Marcus, relates to Allene and the kinds of intraracial slights she’s experienced—but he’s not going to let it hold him back:
I, to, have experienced similar precepts from others, during various stages in my life, and concerning different traits of my being. And because of that, I learned early on to be confident of self—of who I am, who I know myself to be, and the TYPE of man I am. Absolutely no one, who isn’t you, can define what it is to be and how to be you.
Coming up in my hood, I’d get poked about the way I talked and how I sound. I’d get the “You tryin’a sound white” or “You think you smart/smarter than...You think you’re better than...everybody!” While I don’t get the “sound white” any longer, I do get the “better than...” comparison.
Does it bother me? In a way, I guess it kinda does. But better yet still, do I ALLOW IT to bother me? Definitely not. And that’s simply be cause I know me, myself.
This next reader, Orella, is a “bi-racial mom (half black, half Thai)” living in New York City:
I identify with Allene’s note in more ways than one. Hers was a great perspective on us as a people. It is so hard to move forward or to feel any type of unity when we are so judgemental of ourselves.
For example, I recently found a support group for mothers of black children.