“Much of my experience as a black woman has been learning to survive in white spaces.
The last time I was able to exist in a majority black environment was in elementary school, more than 15 years ago. Once I matriculated into the next level of academia, my parents decided to place me into a more “diverse” middle and high school. Diverse, as in majority white, with a few people of color sprinkled throughout.
I didn’t have a hard time transitioning into my new white environment. I embraced it as any eager middle school girl would. What I do recognize, in hindsight, were the tiny ways in which I went into survival mode. This was the beginning of a life filled with endless code-switching, always modifying my behavior and appearance to adapt to my new sociocultural normal.”