• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

July 13, 2007

Black Woman, White Skin

kenosha robinson

Kenosha Robinson

Photo Credit: Taghi Naderzad

Special Offer

At a certain point, it occurred to me that I needed to "pick" my race-life would be easier if I aligned myself with a side, rather than constantly explaining myself to both. I chose the blacks. We share a heritage, and in Mississippi, there is real pride within the black community. Still, I felt the need to prove my "blackness." I started speaking slang. I began listening to rap. I thought knowing the words to songs about gold teeth, money, women, and cars would make me sufficiently ghetto.

Despite my efforts, I was still mistaken for a white girl. So I established myself with an entirely different group-the class clowns. I ridiculed myself as a way of pre-empting comments from others, joking about "not being too white to whup your butt!" Other times, I kidded about being just white enough to "claim kidnapping" if my black friends and I ever got pulled over for speeding. But underneath, it was the same old story: I was actually afraid to look at myself in the mirror.

When it came time to choose a college, I considered attending a predominantly black university. "That's what I am," I told my mom. But she was hesitant, and in the end, so was I. Instead, I chose Millsaps, a mostly white, liberal-arts college in Jackson, where I'm now a junior. Here, in the cafeteria, racial segregation lives on: Blacks and whites almost never eat at the same table. A few months ago, some black students showed up at a white fraternity party. They were turned away and told that they were a bunch of . . . well, you can imagine what they were called. Even though no one would ever call me those names, I was still furious. My loyalty is to the black community. I will never set foot in that frat house again.

This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From World News on Women
The 6 Toughest Single Women in Film (PHOTOS)

Don't mess with these strong female leads.

Into Africa

Driven by equal parts passion and ambition, young Americans are taking a career path less traveled to Rwanda, turning life experience into a world of good, almost 20 years after the genocide.

My Mom And I Share The Same Husband

A mother and daughter having sex with the same man may sound hard to believe, but it's a necessity for women in one Bangladeshi tribe. Not that they're thrilled about it.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.