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Heather Elizabeth King

Author of Dark Fiction

Black Enough?

What is it about society that leads people to ask the question, is she/he black enough? Often I hear that question and wonder who is the decider on what makes someone Black. For years I've stupidly thought it had to do with the color of a person's skin, not how they choose to speak! 

First, let me say that I could care less how a person speaks. You wanna talk street, more power to you. You wanna talk like a Harvard graduate, go on with your bad self! People have a right to be true to themselves and represent themselves in the manner they choose. I care more about how people treat people, not whether they use ebonics or not. I just don't understand why I can't be afforded the same courtesy to speak the way I choose without being condemned as turning my back on my race.

In this society, somehow, speaking as though you're not educated has become synonymous with acting Black. This stereotype is offensive to most Black people, as, most of us learned to speak English many years ago, thus, putting together a sentence isn't a challenge. This is something we learned in Elementary school, along with everyone else. When I go to work every day I don't see Black people walking around with their pants hanging off their butt and speaking in ebonics. It's never happened, not once! So why has Black society been labeled with this misleading and offensive stereotype?

A larger question, and a more aggravating one is, why do the Black people who buy into this stereotype and display its characteristics with pride feel they have a right to approach another Black person who doesn't and question their 'Blackness'?

When I was a little girl I was outside one day and a boy came over and spit in my face. He didn't ask me what type of music I listened to before he spit, didn't care who I was dating (I actually wasn't dating at the time since I was about 7. lol), or ask me to speak so he could hear my sentence structure. He saw a Black girl and hated her for being Black.

It's the 21st Century. Isn't it time to leave the race based stereotypes behind and just be humans!

 



  • The Path to Proclamation (online.wsj.com)

  • 'Is She Even Black?' (clutchmagonline.com)

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