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He showed me new music, food, and gave me a new perspective to consider.His family welcomed me with open arms and I am a better person because of it.This was the place I was born and raised; where nobody had to whisper the “n word” or hesitate to stick some feathers in their hair and paint their skin red as a sign of school spirit.
“You have no a**, Erica” one guy commented at one of these parties as LL Cool J’s “Big Ole Butt” blasted through speakers, while another told me he was willing to deal with my lack of a chest because I had “an a** like a dancer.” Many of the songs on the radio by black artists seemed to put emphasis on parts of the body that I was lacking.
Where friends from home had laughed in my face, believing my taste in guys had somehow done a 180 as a result of moving to the city, black guys I currently went to school with were intrigued.
I began receiving attention from darker skinned guys, one even proclaiming with a wink that he had “never had a white girl before” as if conquering a white girl is some badge of honor or just something to check off a list.
Friends asked me what it was like dating someone who is black and giggled asking if it was true about “what they say about size.” One friend admitted “I could never date a black guy because I wouldn’t be able to understand what he was saying.” All stereotypes I had been used to hearing about this unchartered territory.
When my relationship eventually ended, the phrase “once you go black, you never go back” rang in my ears.After deciding to enroll at Towson University, friends of mine joked about me going to “the hood” and the violence in the Baltimore area, but I was never worried.