Growing Up BlackI grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago, Englewood. It would that neighborhood that I had my first experience of being black.
My mother had a caramel-brown colored skin tone. My grandmother (one my mother's side) had straight hair and a lighter skin-tone complexion. She repeatedly would be mistaken for being white.
My grandmother is the second woman from the left (wearing glasses) and my mother (center stage).
I turned out to have a lighter skin complexion as well.
All the way through grade school, I was constantly being called "white boy" by my school peers. I was in constant defense of my black heritage by my own race.
This experience developed the understanding of what racism really feels like.
Even today, I'm being subjected to the stigmatization of being born black.