The Educated & The Ignorant

ayeshacurry

Ayesha Curry is back in the spotlight for her segment on The View where she talks about growing up. In a nutshell, she moved from Toronto, Canada where she felt embraced by blackness, to a school in North Carolina where she didn’t and felt like she had to choose.

Everyone on Twitter is talking about her ‘light skin tears’ and ‘attention seeking’.

Dark skinned women have it worse than us light skins who are over saturated and over represented in the media and the black community at large. I get it.

However, since I have a horse in this race, this story isn’t a unique one for multiracial people. That shit is real and we can’t pretend like it isn’t.

shrug

That being said, I have always been in the northern part of Florida which may as well be an extension of South Georgia. Until you get to Disney, you’re basically in the south.

When I was five, I lived in Jacksonville for a year. It’s a widely spread city with ~750,000 people when I lived there. Most of the friends I had were black. My teachers were black. It was the diversity you would expect from a place like that. In Jax, I was immediately scooped up by the black kids on the playground. The oldest among my group made sure I got home safe and took care of me. We talked about video games, Power Rangers and regular kid shit.

green ranger.gif
DRAGON SHIT!

Then I moved to Lake City which had ~10,000 people with a railroad running through the town that divided the socioeconomic classes. That’s when it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t ‘black enough’, I ‘talked white’, and everything about me that made me ‘not black’ was put on blast.

As a child, I wasn’t thinking about the world or the fucked up systems we perpetuate. All I knew was that I was facing this specific issue around this specific group, so I distanced myself from it. As a result, my friends were mostly white. Then again, my interests were seen as ‘white‘, so why would they not be?

When it came time for college, I moved to Gainesville which has ~130,000 people and centered around university life. As you would expect, my friend group was diverse, but mostly black.

These stark difference made me realize that if you live in a small town, the issues that surround colorism are louder. You have people of all races looking at you sideways and asking where you’re from. Your whole identity is picked apart and judged on “how black you are” like you’re about to stand in front of the Black Delegation in the racial draft.

In bigger cities, people know I’m mixed, but I’m not ‘less’ black for it. Microaggressions STILL happen, but in my experience they happen at a much lower rate.
It boils down to what everyone probably already knows: Small towns breed ignorance and bigger cities give an expanded view on the world.

blown
I know. Pretend not to be shocked.

Looking back, I know that the issues at hand are larger than myself and don’t have to do with me as an individual. I am very grateful that moving to a diverse town with a focus on education changed my outlook.
In Ayesha Curry’s case, for her to consistently feel like an outsider as a 30 year old woman, it sounds like she needs a heavy dose of therapy.

Is her story a narrative among black and biracial people? Absolutely! Is it one we need to focus on right now? Not so much.

There’s way too much shit going on for her to perpetuate the false narrative of a divided community when others haven’t had their opportunity to talk.

2 comments

  1. Grew up a couple hours from you in Valdosta. It is about half the size of Gainesville.
    Like you, I didn’t have the local accent. (My mother was a military brat, so she lived in various parts of the country and overseas. My father was raised by an aunt who felt his black skin was a strike against him, so she wanted him to be well-spoken to achieve more.)
    I changed schools in the middle of 7th grade. I had come from the tiny Catholic school to a pubic middle school. This guy accused me of lying about where I was from over my accent. In retrospect, I think he was just looking to pick a fight.
    Everyone was also asking me if I was adopted. My mother taught in the 8th grade. It confused people that I was brown and she was white. They also asked if another guy was my brother because we were the only two brown skin kids in the school.
    Joining in the middle of 7th grade, people had already formed their cliques. i wasn’t white enough for the white ones or black enough for the black ones. I found myself hanging out with: kids of military members, metalheads, and freaks. People did become more accepting over time, so I did become an infiltrator into other cliques.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! I found my cliques as well, but when it came to finding a clique that I REALLY vibed with, it didn’t happen until I went to Atlanta for the first time. I really felt like I could truly be me and be SEEN as me rather than people asking me race questions. It was a refreshing breath of air.

      Like

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