the greek

the greek

Story Week Reader
Story Week Reader 2011
pages 31-32

Chris “C.T.” Terry, Writer, Editor, Educator

I was nervous on my first day working in the African-American Cultural Affairs section of my school’s Multicultural Office. My boss Kim introduced me to coworkers, and I imagined my blue eyes to be the subject of appraising gazes. I shook hands—no daps—and wondered if the brief, polite greetings I received were typical professional interactions, or if each person was thinking, “The nerve of this white boy, disturbing the sanctity of African-American Cultural Affairs!”

My mother is white, Irish-American. My father is black. I’m pale, with freckles. Usually, black people can tell that I’m mixed, and white people go, “Oh, I thought you were white, but, like, with an Afro.”

After growing up in a white area outside of white Boston, and having so many people mistake me for white, I get self-conscious around black people. If they don’t recognize my blackness, does it exist? At a party, I’ll screw up an elaborate handshake, clasping when I should be bumping, and one of the other black guys there looks away in shame. Then I die inside a little bit and vow to delete all Hank Williams from my iPod…

Read the entire essay here.

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