So let’s talk tokenism for a moment.
I’ve had a book in the works for a while now—TOKEN: Living Life Black in a World Coloured Otherwise. You haven’t heard much about it because I’m already doing more than enough writing to keep me busy, and no number of things I experience today will suddenly change a childhood where the only Black faces I saw were often the ones I was related to.
So then, does your community dictate your culture?
Well, if your definition of Blackness comes strictly from popular culture where stereotypes reign supreme, then I’m sorry my culture disappoints. The world I know is built on community service, extracurriculars and a private school education, so I might be a little different than you expected.
Today’s entry from Kevin David mirrors much of what I’ve experienced and then some. When you’re a token, you often become an unsolicited ambassador for your race, questioned whenever you do something that doesn’t fit the expectation. Hopefully this entry—and others in the series—help shatter those expectations and give us a world where kids are only expected to be one thing… themselves.
It means being a chameleon. I find myself often having to be different things to different groups of people, be it Black, White, or whatever, in order to exist within this society. So much so that if you asked me what I am really like, I am not sure that I could really answer that question. It also means that I have break stereotypes on an almost daily basis. If I don’t, I will get placed into a category that really doesn’t apply to me.