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Where friends from home had laughed in my face, believing my taste in guys had somehow done a 180 as a result of moving to the city, black guys I currently went to school with were intrigued.
I began receiving attention from darker skinned guys, one even proclaiming with a wink that he had “never had a white girl before” as if conquering a white girl is some badge of honor or just something to check off a list.
All it took was one semester for me to breakup with my high school boyfriend and fall completely in love with a guy from my dorm. I called my mother up to tell her about my new boyfriend, and nervously came clean with the statement “I’m Seeing Someone New And He’s Black!
” Though I knew my parents wouldn’t care, wouldn’t forbid be from seeing him, or treat him differently than my past boyfriends, the fact that I felt the need to admit he was black, as if it were a crime is absurd.
Dating a black man is not the same as dating a white man.
I was pushed out of my comfort zone and I learned more than I ever would have had I been with some someone who grew up just as I did.
After deciding to enroll at Towson University, friends of mine joked about me going to “the hood” and the violence in the Baltimore area, but I was never worried.
Fitting into this lifestyle felt more natural to me than living in Rochester ever did.
When my relationship eventually ended, the phrase “once you go black, you never go back” rang in my ears.
The most significant difference among them is that this Rochester belongs to a New England state that is listed in bold when you Google “Least diverse state.” If you flip through my year book from senior year, you will count 3 black students in my class, only one of them being male.
Although New Hampshire is over 94% “white alone”, (and zero percent Native American) my high school proudly flaunts the Red Raider mascot, a stereotypical Native American with a face tinted blood red (Census Bureau, 2014).
It put me in a box, limiting me in ways I didn’t realize until recently.
The more attention I received from black men, the less white men wanted to talk to me, as if I had been eternally branded as a traitor.