When you look around, it’s only you. You are alone. You are the only black kid in class.
So let’s get into it.
There are a swarm of emotions you feel when you realize you’re the only person of color in your class: annoyed, bothered, isolated. And rightly so. There’s so much that comes with being the sole black kid in a room dominated by white students.
When the discussion in class has anything remotely to do with black people, heads immediately turn to you. Sometimes it even feels like it's done in slow motion. 20 pairs of eyes glare you down, reminding you—again—that you’re the only one.
Yes...Can I help you?
The constant stares basically tell us that all you see when you look at us is our skin color.
What about our black skin lets you think it’s okay to suddenly turn our way when the discussion is about racism, slavery, the Civil Rights, or the BLM movements?
People have decided being black means we’re “experts” on all of these topics, but that doesn’t mean you have to look and place all that pressure on us. Now, as the only black kid, we feel uncomfortable because you can’t keep your eyes forward. And to make matters worse, it’s not only the students. Teachers always pick on us, too.
If you’re turning to us during these conversations, make sure you’re looking at us for every conversation. Your awareness about your reactions and actions will avoid a lot of the discomfort we as black people have to feel everyday in class.
Why does everyone expect us to be the woke ones?
Just because we’re black doesn't mean we have all the answers.
Just because we’re black doesn't mean we’re obligated to give you insight.
It’s not our job to educate you on matters of race or history. There’s a teacher for a reason. Our personal experience shouldn’t be dissected or demanded as though it’s part of the syllabus.