Not Black Enough

As a child, I was extremely quiet and passive-aggressive.  Al Humduillah, I grew up and started speaking up for myself. As I talk to my younger brother about his middle school experience, I can’t help, but sit back and reflect on my completely different experience. 

I actually don’t have too many fond memories of middle school, it was an awkward adjustment period of my life. Wearing the hijab, and a modest uniform did not help the situation either. One memory that has been sticking out lately is the time I had a substitute teacher in Music. 

He was an older Black American man, really laid back and the majority of the students loved him. He was leading a discussion about music that our parents play in the car. So everyone is pretty much participating and having fun, cracking jokes. I attempt to participate, but before I get a full sentence out, he cuts me off.  Informing me that I’m foreign, and my people don’t listen to regular music. 

I was way too shy and quiet to speak up, and say, “no, I’m black, I am just Muslim”. At that point, I remember feeling so embraced and a sense of not belonging anywhere. I wanted so desperately to blend in, and not always stick out as different. Now I realize how idiotic and toxic his statement truly was. Instead of embracing me, and taking the opportunity to potentially learn about a new culture; he just shot me down because I didn’t appear “black American enough”. The saddest part is, he’s not the only person who’s made me feel that way. Even though I grew up in a black community, I still was made to feel like a minority amongst my own people. 

3 thoughts on “Not Black Enough

  1. Thank you for sharing about being made to feel that you weren’t black enough. The teacher I believe was speaking from ignorance what he didn’t understand and to give a loud message to the others in the class that heard him that it was ok to make you feel “different”. I had a horrible middle school experience as well but praise God for not allowing those experience to define who I am today. Thank you for sharing I really enjoy reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear you had to experience this it must have been very difficult. I didn’t think about this before but I think because being black is so closely tied to Christianity, people who are from differing faiths (not so much atheists etc) aren’t necessarily viewed as black in the same way. I hope this is changing because your blackness is valid and should never have to be proved. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Clif Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.