(As seen on my personal blog: http://highnessempowershighness.wordpress.com)

 

The answer to this question is “yes!” In the past 4 years, that is what I have become, a token black girl.

d44fdb0536c6a4dff27e8de5d52ee9c8

What is a “token black girl?”, I hear you asking. Well, below is a definition I found online of the word “token” (because, yes I assume that is the word that may cause confusion and bring questions).

Token: [/ˈtəʊkən/]: an item, idea, person, etc., representing a group; a part as representing the whole; sample; indication.

How is it then that I am a “token black girl”?

In my workplace, I fit the definition above almost to a tee! I am 95% sure I can count the number of black staff members in my workplace. – I could even go as far as PoC to be honest.

It is nobody’s fault. I live in a SMALL town in the south of England… I guess it was to be expected.

“What’s the matter then?”, I hear you say -have you noticed how good my ears are. I’m hearing things all the way from my flat. Imagine this!

I cannot do anything in peace anymore. That’s the matter!

  • I went from flat twist to flat twist out? That only means a lengthy conversation with staff and students!
  • I am wearing a protective style? Another lengthy convo.
  • I took out my long box braids? And another one!
  • I’m wearing something not “european”? I might as well get ready for another convo.

 

 

64-what-is-self-love-all-about

In the community or when I go out, it is the same thing all over again! Get a sista really tired!

You want to know the worst part? (yes you do!) It seems like they forget the minute after I explain something to them. They will make the same comments and ask the same questions over and over again! Like… please make notes and stop being annoying!

I genuinely don’t mind educating others about my hair, haircare or skin care or anything like that but the fact they don’t seem to make an effort to remember does get to me.

It infuriates me when I am somewhere with my hair out in a fro and random people try to put their fingers through my hair.

Example 1: Earlier this year, I got so annoyed that I almost took it out on a colleague who is from Spain. For some unknown reasons, she likes touching my hair and my face. Many times, I had told her not to do that and I gave her reasons. Yet, she kept doing it- consciously or not. It didn’t really matter to me. Until one day, I almost flipped out and told her that I don’t know what she had been doing with her hands and that it is not okay to be touching my hair and face like that! I asked her if she’s ever seen me just coming and putting my hands on her face or through her hair. Her excuse, as usual, is that it is different and it looks fluffy or it looks nice…

Me: So what?!!!!!

img_1910

Example 2: last week .I went out for the Nigerian Independence day celebration. I was literally standing, enjoying a drink when a melanin deficient woman came up to me, drink in one hand and the second hand reaching for my hair. I and all the people that witnessed the scene saw my best dodge to date.

What I did next is that I stared into her soul like “What the actual heck are you trying to do woman?!! Do I even know you? Does this seem like an okay thing to do? What in the world?!”

Her hand was still in the air.

Did she feel embarrassed? I think so. Do or did I care? Absolutely not!

I could actually go on with the examples but I think you get the gist.

img_1908

Another reason why it matters is because I don’t feel fully catered to in many areas such as make up, skin care or haircare.

I am not interested in representing all the black girls you’ve EVER or NEVER met. Chances are what I tell you only apply to me as an individual black woman and not a whole community.

I am grateful that things toned down a bit when I started making friends within the African community in my area and within my dancing community. I had found people that could relate and to whom I could say “SAME!” and actually mean it.

img_2063

Have you ever been in this kind of situation where you become a token of a whole group or community?

More empowerment to you 👑✊🏿


Catch me there:

snapchat and instagram: @mlle_mara

FB: https://www.facebook.com/HighnessEmpowersHighness

twitter: @missmarar

 

Published by Mara RGSTR