Being black in a white world means having no privacy.
Strangers on the street ask where we’re really from.
Strangers on the street ask where our Fathers and Grandfathers are from to get to the bottom of why we say we’re from a European country but don’t look traditionally European.
Strangers on the street praise how well we speak their language.
Strangers on the street ask to touch our hair or skin while reaching for it, not giving us a chance to say no.
Strangers on the street let us know their opinion of us...when we haven't even asked.
4 years ago, I sat down next to a white woman on a tram who told me she did not want to “sit next to a nigger”. I ignored her and sat down anyway. I felt a hard smack on the back of my head and one on my thigh. I continued to sit there frozen, listening to her continuously calling me a nigger. I was surrounded by white people and no one stood up for me. I was in a position where I couldn’t stand up for myself out of the sheer shock of what had happened.
Being black means enduring micro-aggressions drop by drop like water torture, knowing in the back of your mind that moment will come when something overtly racist inevitably happens.