I Was Ashamed to be Black Growing up in NY in the 1980’s

I grew up in suburban Long Island, New York, an hour outside of “The City” by The Long Island Expressway. As a child I considered myself the most important person in the most important city in the world.

I used to watch the evening 6 p. News with the grown ups. My stomach was twisted I. K it’s and my mouth was so dry I could hear myself swallow. Why? I was desperately afraid the pictures of the people arrested for crimes would show people my color. And I would hear about it in school during the current events debate time in my gifted and talented class. The other students were white and felt free to exclude me from the debate by complaining about “them.” Yet I was unavoidably targeted because everyone stared at me, directly or furticely. No leader would come out with the truth that the news could be fake for about 30 years and it seemed to me that when black people were the majority the neighborhood was “bad.”

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