Their Thinking Is Continents Apart

| VA, USA | Learning | September 16, 2015

(I’m in third grade, my mom teaches kindergarten right across the hall. My class is discussing the continents when the following exchange occurs. Note: My mom and I are both obviously white.)

Me: “My mom is African American.”

Classmate: “No she isn’t!”

Me: “Yes she is!”

(This goes back and forth for several minutes until she calls me a liar and I burst into tears. The teacher goes to my mom for help.)

Teacher: “[My Mom], [My Name] is insisting that you’re African American. Could you explain to her what that means?”

Mom: “Actually [Teacher], my parents were American missionaries who were in [African country] when I was born.”

(I nod.)

Me: “Yeah. She’s an American who was born in Africa. An African American.”

(My classmate stopped arguing with me after that.)

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