There are certain questions that almost every black person has been asked in their lives. From questions about our hair and skin, to comments about our level of “blackness”, we hear a lot of interesting things. Here are a few things that black girls a really tired of hearing:
1. “Is that your real hair?” Whether it’s growing from my scalp or not, it’s on my head, so it’s mine. That’s all you need to know.
2. “Can I touch your hair?”Trying to touch someone’s hair is a serious invasion of personal space, especially if you don’t ask. It’s best to play it safe and keep your hands to yourself.
3. “You’re pretty for a black girl.”This is not a compliment. In fact, it’s quite insulting. A compliment shouldn’t be based on someone’s race or skin color. A simple “you’re pretty” will do just fine.
4. “You’re not like other black girls.” or “You’re not REALLY black.”Having interests or tendencies that aren’t stereotypically black doesn’t make me any different than any other black person. There are no “levels” to blackness.
5. “Can you teach me how to twerk?” No. Just no.
6. “You don’t talk black.”
Speaking properly has nothing to do with someone’s race. Just because someone doesn’t speak perfect or standard English, doesn’t mean they’re any less intelligent than everyone else.
7. “You’re my best black friend!”Being called someone’s “best black friend” doesn’t really mean much compared to just being a “best friend”.
Although some of these things are said innocently, being asked the same questions about your hair and skin color constantly can get really old, really fast. If you experience any of the above, call it out! Educating people as to why these questions are problematic can make everyone’s life a little easier down the road.