"Yes, at times I feel judged by African-American women who choose to wear weaves or wigs with long straight hair and by women with naturally straight hair who are Caucasian."
"Strong, Resilient, Adaptive."
"Even though I do not wear a hijab, I do not volunteer information about my religion and about being muslim, unless directly asked."
"Sometimes yes, I do. I am a very humble person and I hate the feeling I get when I tell people what institution I attended or where I work because I feel as though they automatically form some sort of opinion about me that is untrue...if people ask me what I do, I simply say 'Oh, I work for a media company' just keep it as vague as possible as to not make it seem like I have a fancy job in the city."
"Yes, I lived in a predominately West Indian area and I've had someone refer to me as a coconut for living there. I did not find it funny at all."
"Amongst many other stereotypes I feel like we're expected to have an attitude. Sometimes when speaking to people of other races they would say something funny, and roll their eyes and snap their fingers for added effect. I never do this."
"Yes, at a fancy gym in lower Manhattan. There wasn't many black females that look like me in that gym, it was intimidating to be around so many fit and skinny white women staring and judging me. So I cancelled my membership."
"Absolutely. I tend to hear that I'm 'articulate' after meeting people, which I usually take to mean more articulate than they expected me to be. An old boss called me 'a rare bird' for being a woman of color who enjoys fishing with my family and watching Games of Thrones."
"Yes. When I was working in the 80's a few of my co-workers always seemed to have a jealous streak because of my husband's high-ranked job and the job that I had. We were a black family that were doing well financially."
"No, not at all. If I am good at something I let everyone know it. I can't afford to be modest. You have to be your own best advocate."
"Absolutely! I was the only black females in my middle school, one of ten in my high school, the only one in my college group of friends, and the only one in my entire company."
"I work in the mental health field. If I come in contact with another female they expect me to understand where they are coming from. In society, some expect a black woman to speak like 'a black woman' and perhaps not be educated...to be intimidated by others and their positions and roles."
"Sometimes I am asked by other African-American women why I choose to still perm my hair. While natural hair is not my style, I do know that chemicals are not good for my hair."
"Yes, I have been accused of being 'bougie' because of living in upper class neighborhoods or buildings. The flip side of that is my white neighbors look at me like I must be lost when I enter a building or when they see me in the neighborhood."
"Yes, at my job. I still went, but I felt like I had to tone down who I was to be accepted."
"My biggest achievement to date is not labeling myself. I used to think 'I'll look too white if I do that' or 'Am I being the token black person?' I've come to a point where my personality is solely my own."
"Will not stop."
"I often feel judged for how I wear my hair and although not in open, direct ways, I feel that tension coming from other black girls my age. I feel this because I hear them criticize other girls' hairstyles, so what are they saying about me when I'm not around? I don't wear weaves or straighten my hair as often as other black girls my age, so I think there has definitely been issues with that."
"EMBRACE EACH OTHER!! Please. Try not to soak up so much information that you drown out the substance of what people before you did in order for your to be as free as you are today. Also try to preserve your family history, if that means saving old pictures or even recipes. Our grandparents went through way too much and overcame too much for us to just let technology take over. Deprogram."
"Yes, I lived in a neighborhood that I had to answer the question of why I don't want to live around people like me."
“When I'm around other black people, sometimes I don't like to talk too much, or open up about my childhood experiences and college life because I've been shamed in the past. I did not grow up wealthy, by any means, but my parents still made sure I had rich experiences. I learned oil painting at a pretty young age, and traveled with my mom and aunt to Europe when I was 11 and 12. I went to a diverse LA magnet school, then public schools in the Beverly Hills school district where I learned to speak French and play the tenor saxophone.
On the inside, I feel extremely blessed and know that everything about my upbringing and past experiences is so special and I'm grateful to my family, especially my mom, for supporting me through it all. Because of all that, I should want to shout that story from the mountaintops, BUT on the surface, I prefer to keep quiet unless I'm at a job interview, or if someone close to me asks about any of it. .Along the way, there have been several Black people who have made fun of me for ‘growing up in Beverly Hills.’ They are very condescending about it, as if I don't really know what it means to be Black because I've lived some sort of watered down version of it, instead of just calling my experience 'different' from their own. People may not be aware of this, but being a Black girl in a sea of white students has its own challenges. Black people have also, since I was maybe 5 or 6, made fun of me for "talking like a white girl." That used to really hurt and sounded like nails on a chalkboard, but now, as a professional, it bothers me a little less because I know that it actually means I just don't have a distinct accent and no one can really tell what ethnicity I am until they meet me in person, which I think is honestly how it should be."
"Becoming board certified in Emergency Medicine."
"I experience (or perceive) less judgement now as woman who chooses to shave her head than I did during certain periods of my youth when I had hair. I am approached by different people of different backgrounds and ages with curiosity and appreciation. It has surprised me to receive more positive attention, especially from black people--I had a belief that they especially would respond more negatively or with more ridicule in light of the weight hair has been given in our community."
"Yes, usually in dating situations I don't tell men that I am a doctor unless asked explicitly. I generally say that I work in a hospital and just hope they don't inquire much. I have found that men make a lot of assumptions about character, 'need for a man', and competitiveness, based on a job title."
"Freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman."
"My freshman year in college, my mother was not fond of my black boyfriend at the time. Funny thing is that I'm Afro Cuban, meaning both of my parents are Cuban but my mother is of darker skin (African ancestors). She always said date someone lighter than you. So behind her back I continued to date him for 2 years."
"I've done some out of the box things for fun, and to push my own limits of comfort (including amateur modeling). Most of the time, I keep it under wraps inside my close knit circle, until I get a text or screenshot saying, 'Is this YOU?!'"
"Learn deductive reasoning. Don't just take things at face value and allow the media or someone else's opinions to drive your decisions or thoughts. Do your own dirty work so you can be firm in your beliefs and know that they are yours. Take responsibility for your actions and grow and learn everyday."
"Well I currently live in a conscious community housing set up in Venice (LA) with about 6 people and I'm the only Black women in the collective so often times a lot of my peers ask me questions about my experience and say they don't know how I do it. Sometimes I walk in the house to conversations about race and oneness and I often have to help my housemates see things from my perspective being African American. Although their intention is to be love and light I feel it's my duty to bring awareness to them of what we go through as black people and why advocating for our rights is so important."
"There are so so many ... and it depends on the scenario - work, education, relationships, family etc. ...here's one from the long list. I think there's a general expectation that we must be strong, independent and can get through anything. While that's positive, it's a lot pressure and can be isolating when you actually do need some support and are overlooked."
"Yes, we live in an upper middle class community where we are part of the very few black families in our town. We do get judged on both sides, for example the black communities they say things like 'you think you are better than us?' and 'they are so fancy.' On the other side, with the caucasian community in our town they are so surprised that we are a normal family and are highly educated, successful people; however, to some that doesn’t matter they just don't speak to us."
"Most definitely. I started a PhD program in Sociology and discovered almost immediately that I was in the wrong place given my passions and professional interests, so I decided that Public Health was a better fit for my graduate studies. To make the switch, I had to revoke a 5-year full ride scholarship and give up my ideal apartment to move back home to save money. To say they were highly disappointed would be an understatement. They didn't know what public health was and were concerned that I wasn't making the right decision. Following their expectations for me and what I thought would make me happy is how I landed in the wrong program in the first place. Over time, they definitely came around, but much of my indecision and educational pursuits thus far had followed their expectations for me."
"I always still go. I love to travel and I'm interested in a lot of different places. If I stopped myself for being the only black female I know in a place, honestly I wouldn't have shown up for much of the life I've had. I don't worry about such things that much, but I do think about them. Usually just being a woman in a place is something I'm thinking about. Whatever people think about me based on my coloring is typically 99% wrong (this is verified from personal experience), so honestly I don't even consider such opinions as relevant. That has freed up a lot of my subconscious and actions."
"Learn what it means to be self-aware. Self-awareness helps you be honest with your feelings."
"YES. The stereotypes and assumptions weight heavy on me. I have definitely gotten comments like, 'You are much different then I thought.' or 'You have changed my view on Black Women.' I never know what to say to these backwards compliments. They are so wrong in so many ways."
"There have been times where I've been judged by my own people when it comes to my hair. Questioning of why I straighten my hair when I don't need to. Then on the other end, when I have worn scarves it's been a topic of not being presentable."
"Nope. I have dated several times outside of my race, religion, and nationality and haven't hid it from my family or friends. My family met the ones I became serious with and interacted often with them for gatherings, holidays, casual visits, and even hanging out in my absence. As long as I was being treated well my family was supportive."
"Yes, I have been judged by how I talk within the African-American community. I have been accused of speaking 'too proper.'“
"Yes. I once dated a guy that was Hasidic Jewish. It was a very secretive relationship. Obviously. When his sisters found out they told their mom and said, 'what will people think of us! Driving with that girl in our car.' The relationship ended very soon after that."