A real life dialogue from 1990 between two young co-workers.
One Black and One White.
Me: “Hey Teri! How are your classes coming this quarter?”
Teri: “Hey Gwin! They’re coming along OK.”
Me: “Are you making any new friends?”
Teri: “Well, yes…but, to be honest, I’ve noticed that the Black students in my classes aren’t really friendly and they only talk to each other.”
Me: “Well have you tried starting a conversation with any of ’em?”
Teri: “Well, no… I mean, I’m not used to being around Black people so I wouldn’t know what to say.”
Me: “Teri, you’re forgetting something…in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m Black and we talk all the time.”
Teri: “Gwin, that’s different, you’re Black but you’re not Black Black.“
Me: What? What do you mean I’m not Black Black?”
Teri: “See… now you’re trying to make me feel bad, I’m just saying that you’re not like most Black people.”
Me: “Come on Teri didn’t you just say that you’re not used to being around Black people? So how do you know how most Black people are?”
Teri: “Gwin, please don’t get mad. You’ve been a very good friend to me and the last thing I would want to do is offend you so let’s just drop the subject, I’m sorry.”
Me: “I accept Teri and I agree; we probably need to move on and start talking about something else.”