Diary of a Non-stereotypical Black Girl

By Allie Jeter
October 26, 2011

All black people are lazy, on welfare and don’t believe in marriage before having children. All Jews are greedy. All gay people are flamboyant and always try to go for the straight people. All Asians are good at math. All women belong in the kitchen. All white people get angry when they can’t get jobs and see others moving ahead. All Irish people are drunks. All Arabs like to blow things up when they get angry.

Everyone from Norristown is either having a baby at 16, in jail, on drugs or in serious poverty.
Stereotypes not only break us but shake us. Everyone stereotypes when they don’t even know it. When we hear these things about our own race or our own town and  it doesn’t even relate to us as an individual, we think why? Why would someone categorize my race, my gender, my sexuality just because of their own experiences? Because we make assumptions and unfair judgments. We are creating a forever long genocide of prejudice and bigotry that can only stop if we so choose.

Being black and a woman are two stereotypes I have to face each and every day.
Being black has had stereotypes attached to it since the  dawn of time. I have to be judged because I apparently like “chicken and watermelon.” Does that give anyone a right to hate anyone? Just because some black people like those kinds of foods? Also, the stereotypes don’t stop there. I’m from Norristown, Pa. which is like Compton to my fellow Cabrini students. If I mention I’m from there, they think I’m either from a gang, have a kid, stupid, a prostitute  or in  poverty-stricken conditions.
I’m a double major in communications and psychology and so far have finished three years of college with no baby mama drama, no gun war, no selling myself on a street corner, or stealing food from a local eatery because I have no money to pay for my next meal. But is it fair for someone to overlook those things and still feel that I’m what they assume I am?

Other stereotypes that I face include who I am dating, the way I talk, the friends I hang out with and what I am into. I’m dating someone who’s out of my race. If I had a dime for everytime someone would look at my boyfriend and me walking down the street with utter disgust and disappointment, it would give Steve Jobs a run for his money.

People immediately think of the stereotype that black girls only date white guys for their money. My boyfriend isn’t rich at all. He has to support his mother and himself with every pay check he gets. But we all have to disregard that and think that I’m only with him because I’m a golddigger?

Finally, the way I talk and what I’m into is the icing on the cake. I’ve been teased ever since middle school about the way I talk , who I hung out with and what I was into. Let’s face it, I’m usually the only black person in my group of friends. Does that matter to me? Of course not. But I’m perceived as  the “token black person” in the group and people treat me different because of it.

The same goes for the music that I’m into. The rock concerts, the mosh pits and the screamo punk bands are what I live for but I’m not allowed to like that because it’s not what every other black girl is into, right? My grammar, my tone of voice, the way I speak is like I’ve learned a thing or two from my English class. But just because I’m black, I’m not supposed to talk like I have a brain in my head yet, as someone who is uneducated and illiterate?

People are all different. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring, drab and unsightly place. We should accept our differences instead of hiding behind them. Do we really need to think the complete opposite before we get to know the true person? We need to start accepting the fact that just because someone is black doesn’t mean they steal. Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they want to get with everyone who is straight. Just because you’re Asian doesn’t mean you work at a nail salon. Before you judge the book by its cover, learn the story first.


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Allie Jeter

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