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Black on the outside, White on the inside–why the sudden change?

Written and photographed by Kohana Bondurant

Edited by Yoko Zhu

When I think about it, “who you are on the inside is what matters, not what’s on the outside.”

I am reminded of every so-called compliment made by my classmates:

“you are different”

“you are not like the others”

“you're not who I thought you would be”

What did you think I would be like?

In this instance, silence speaks louder than words.

I know who you thought I was or the role you wanted me to play to comfort and confirm this mentality you have established in your head.

I am not made to fit into your monstrous mold.

I am not here to help you perpetuate how Black people are supposed to act or what you believe they should love.

I do not and will not put myself in your box, and color within the lines that you have demanded I stay in.

I am a Black woman on the outside and inside, it does not fluctuate by my way of speech, friendships, or interests.

My decisions or aspirations will not be invalidated or presumed out of character for my race.

I should not be designated to another racial background because you believe I am inferior.

Inferiority only works when I allow you to regulate what I am capable of.

And that's the way the cookie crumbles.

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