Day 316 

On Friday, I was walking home from work and I passed a young black man.  Instinctively, I face him “the nod”.  He nodded back, but seemed puzzled.  Or maybe I’m just projecting because I realized as soon as I had passed that I had forgotten my son wasn’t with me.  Because before my son, who is black, I didn’t ever get the nod from black people on the street.  Because I’m not black.  But now, about 80% of the time, I do.  

My first thought was that I hope the young mans internal dialogue was one of confusion (“did that white lady just give me the nod?  How does she know about the nod?”). And that he didn’t perceive it as. Racial microaggrssion (“oh man, now the white folks are talking  nod from us too?  They think they ain’t white now?”)

My spouse, however, pointed a third option: That he took my nod as a reassurance that I wasn’t threatened  by him, which is how it is sometimes interpreted when white women don’t make eye contact with black men on the street.  That would be ok too.  I don’t feel threatened,  I’m now constantly sizing up young black men to see what I see or hope to see for my son in ten, twenty years.  

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~ by realsupergirl on November 14, 2015.

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