I didn’t grow up in a very diverse neighborhood. It was all West Indian, Black and Latin folks. It wasn’t until college when I made some, “white” friends. I’ve always been the open to meeting new people and honestly wasn’t nervous when befriending people outside my race. When you go to a predominately White school, what do you expect? When in Rome… I wouldn’t have had a good experience in college if I didn’t open myself up.
Fast forward to adulthood; I found myself still in the same circles I had growing up. I wanted to be around my “own people” while becoming a writer. But you know what I realized? My real people were other writers not people of the same race. I went back to graduate school and focused on being friends with writers, so I could grow. It didn’t matter to me what race they were, it was important for me to be around writers.
The result of that was my friendship circle becoming more colorful. I did befriend people from both work and school that were White but I didn’t look at them as my “White friends”; they were my homies. (I hope I sounded cool saying that). In fact, they have become a very significant part of my life. Plus it was more than White; my circle extends from Asian, Brazilian, Indian (not the west indies haha my peoples) and so on. We were living life and enjoying it together.
Did we have conversations about race? Yes. Were they intense sometimes? Absolutely but guess what? The same thing happens with my Black friends and family. We grew and learned from each other because we weren’t afraid of the unknown.
I see people always post about dating outside our race but never really taking about friendships outside the race. Friendships can go a long way, with the right intentions. It doesn’t make anyone a sell out because they’re open to making new friends; it makes us human. I will say, it can be annoying when a sentence from my friends, who are not black, starts with, “I’m not racist but…” or “Does this sound racist?” If you have to ask for clarity, you are and it does.
Chilling with My Ivory…