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Tell of an incident or a place where you’ve experienced micro-aggression.

When I was in high school, a group my White friends used to call me Rosa Parks. As the only Black person in the group, it felt very pointed and made me uncomfortable, but I wanted to feel like I belonged so I let that be my nickname.

How did it impact you?

I’ve realized it more later on, but that instance was an example of the times that I have sacrificed my feelings and bits of my identity to make others feel comfortable. It’s also a example of times where I have clinged to a sense of belonging even if it meant smothering myself in the process.

Do you wish you would’ve handled it differently? If so, what would you have said or done instead?

I wish that I would have been more proud of my identity as a Black person. I wish that I would have had the confidence to not allow myself to be watered down by ignorance. If I could go back, I would have corrected them and told them that they should either accept me or end our friendship. I am who I am and my identity should not be made into a joke regardless of how harmless the intent may have been.