Meet the Black Woman Who Is Uncomfortable Around Black People

Meet the Black Woman Who Is Uncomfortable Around Black People
August 24 12:06 2015 Print This Article

A black woman who was raised in a mostly white area says she has always felt like an outsider among black people.

In a editorial for Salon, Danielle Small says she became aware of her outsider status when her hairstylist tried to give her the “black” handshake. According to Small, the handshake was a “black test” that she failed.

“It happened. I failed the ‘black’ test. My hair stylist and I were chatting while she was taking a break from retightening my locs. I made a funny quip, and she extended her palm so that we could partake in the standard Black American handshake,” Small wrote.

“In what was most likely the longest three seconds in the universe, I stared at her hand in befuddlement, trying to figure out what she was doing. By the time I realized that this was the handshake, it was too late. I tried to recover with some weird amalgamation of a fist bump and a high five, but the damage had been done. I had revealed myself to be the Carlton to her Fresh Prince.”

This “existential crisis” led Small to one conclusion: I’m uncomfortable around black people. This is a peculiar realization being that I am also a black person.”

Small says every time she walks into the barber shop where her stylist works, she feels uncomfortable that she is going to be “found out.”

In my mind when other black people see me, they’re thinking: ‘She may look black, but she’s not black black, if you know what I mean.'”

Small says she began getting accused of not being black while living in a mostly white area of Wisconsin.

“I know so many white girls that can gangsta walk better than you,” Small says she was told. “You’re not black, you can’t even dance!”

Now, however, Small says she is beginning to realize that there’s no one way to be black.

It’s taken some time, but now I’m aware that there is no ‘black test’ and that, even though I’m more Carlton than Fresh Prince, my blackness is still valid. My hair stylist doesn’t see me as some racial imposter.

What do you think of Small’s experience?

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65 comments
rneequaye
rneequaye

This is totally absurd.  Is she actually equating being black with a handshake?

JEWELsade
JEWELsade

WHERE WAS SHE FOUND!, send her back OVER to the enemy's TENT. 

Tell her black people are currently dealing with white supremacy, and the last thing we wanna do is to assist a negro in finding themselves. 


LyndiaPitts
LyndiaPitts

I think teaching a person to hate himself, is much more criminal than teaching a person to hate someone else.


Malcolm X

1964

Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

Take this discussion and throw in what just "happened" in Va. In a week all about bashing us a disgruntled black reporter shots the reporter and camera man. Bovine excrement!

Watchful
Watchful

@Rick Manigault


That Virginia 'shooting' is just another episode in the continuing HOAX-A-THON, Rick.  That shite was even worse than the Walter Scott hoax. The acting in these fake 'shootings' gets worse with each subsequent episode ... they're not even bothering to make them look even remotely convincing anymore. SMH

MorganaLeFay
MorganaLeFay

We need to get past stereotypes here. Being able to do a black handshake isn't going to be the making or breaking of someone. That notwithstanding, is this woman making an effort to grow closer with black Americans? Just because you grew up in a mostly white area doesn't justify continued self-isolation because you don't know the black handshake. I grew up in a British county that is mostly white, so there is a degree of isolation. Thankfully, my parents made sure to remind me that they come from Nigeria. As I grew up, I have made more of an effort to connect with black people around the world. Will she do this? 

nattydreadsista
nattydreadsista

We need to expand the stereotypes that society categorized us in. Not the first time that I've heard this and feel that we've been indoctrined to believe we only have one type of behavior or skill; instead we haven't been taught that our individuality adds to the rainbow of our culture....and that's ok.

APSlater
APSlater

This is incredibly stupid. If she lives here on this planet then she knows the "black stereotypes" and all the things such as the handshakes that have become a "black thing." Just because some people do those things and you don't does not make you any less black and why in the world would you feel uncomfortable for not doing them. When white people do it how dodo you feel then? Is she a writer trying to get published or something?

Johnw11
Johnw11

@APSlater  At the end of the day, after all is said and done, in my opinion, your observation is correct -- it's attention seeking behavior. Period. What's more catchy than "I'm uncomfortable around OTHER Blacks." It's a master marketing play!

I only elaborated on it for context, which I now know was greatly needed.

MarkMacdonald1
MarkMacdonald1

she been on a quest to find herself an is probably as consciencously Black as possible.. After all if you put a cat in a field of dogs that cat will understand the differences more than the cat that has been in a field with only cats..(for want of a better analogy) Anyway glad the sista home now..Amandla

BayouCityBeauty
BayouCityBeauty

I feel for her. I am a person, a woman, and Then I am a color, ethnic roup, etc...Not the other way around. 

JESS2248
JESS2248

@BayouCityBeauty But that's not what she said. She is attempting to basically distance herself by saying..."I'm black, yes....but I don't act it", I don't know if it's in an attempt to closer identify with "white people", or to make herself more acceptable to them, but that's what I got from the article. No? What you're saying is you are a human being first, then a woman, and your culture last, in that order. I agree with you, but I don't sympathize much with her. It's more to our culture than silly handshakes, sports, and the ever so silly "black test".

Johnw11
Johnw11

@BayouCityBeauty  Not true. Your color is far more important in a racist society than your gender or humanity will ever be. That is fairytale land thinking and you know it. So, to quote Ron Isley, "Who do you think you're fooling, trying to slick a can of oil?"

That's why if you are white, you are paid higher wages than a Black woman for doing the same work tasks, and on average more than Black men. And, you have 20 x the wealth of Back women and men, primarily because policies and laws are set-up to benefit you because of your race.

If you are a Black woman, and has been psychologically mislead by those "feminist" college classes, ask your professor how come it is that over 1.5 million of your men are "missing" from society due to socio-economic policies, making it very difficult for you to find a husband (if that's your flavor), while the white male - female ratio is nearly perfectly balanced. 

And, if you're a Black woman, ask why you suffer more from  a variety of psychophysiological illnesses caused by the stress of racism than your white female counterparts.

If you are white, stop your "divide and conquer" con-game. if you are a Black woman, stop falling for the con-game.

jrob909
jrob909

I can definitely sympathize. As a young black male I definitely don't fit the stereotypes. I SUCK at basketball and plenty of other sports. I don't meticulously follow sports (this is more of an overall man thing).   And there are a few other things. I've definitely missed out on a lot of friendships and opportunities due to fear of rejection. However, I've learned that people usually will accept you for who you are and if not then f em. 

latronbrown
latronbrown

Same here bro..er.....should it be "bruh"...lol

MorganaLeFay
MorganaLeFay

@jrob909 Dude, not all black people play basketball! I can't play basketball either.

JESS2248
JESS2248

I'll be nice and just say....she's not very interesting.

EricaGardner
EricaGardner

That's BS i dont know  the black handshake  but i don't  feel uncomfortable  around us hell my white coworkers know it and i dont gotta be more like your attitude 

BayouCityBeauty
BayouCityBeauty

That's not b.s if you've lived it. Working with some and growing up around mostly Caucasians is NoWhere near the same experience. 

jillabuss
jillabuss

@EricaGardner : Some of our people conduct themselves in ways that are frightening, especially around their own people. I can no longer take a mid night stroll in my neighborhood. I have to take special note of how I handle money in certain communities of ours. Even talking with some of our brothers and sisters can get uncomfortable at times. So Yes Some of My people Make me Uncomfortable.

DonnaArtist
DonnaArtist

Omg u hit it right on the spot! Blacks do get very hostile and confrontational when they get into situations and it just gets crazy.

CarlyJoseph
CarlyJoseph

@DonnaArtist "Blacks do get very hostile and confrontational when they get into situations and it just gets crazy." Do you not realize this is racist... 

latronbrown
latronbrown

The silly thing is.....we aren't the only ones that get hostile...trust me. I've seen it plenty of times to know hostility isn't exclusive.

Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

@CarlyJoseph We are under siege with blatant racial attacks all over the web. This is orchestrated and meant to coincide with that wench from Bellville Illinois.

APSlater
APSlater

Idiot alert on this one!

Deebrown
Deebrown

You are stereotyping because there is nothing like the fury of a white man and I mean nothing! When a white man becomes angry numerous people die!

Johnw11
Johnw11

@DonnaArtist  Omg, apparently they'll not getting "very hostile and confrontational" about the right things because your worldwide racism / white supremacist hostility, confrontation, murder and pillage is continuing unabated and keeping you in control of Blacks. OMG!


OMG. Everyone, please forgive me for responding to this troll. But it is a new troll and I should have one release.

DonnaArtist
DonnaArtist

Lol i am in control of no one.... We are all in control of ourselves, what we do etc. live in Chgo and youll c what Im talking abt.... Tg it hasnt turned into riots and destroying neighborhoods. I just get a little tired of people thinking they r owed, make their own rules/ laws etc....stop blaming others for what they dont have and work for it instead of hangin on the corners. Youd be surprised how a broom and shovel can improve the look of ur neighborhood

BayouCityBeauty
BayouCityBeauty

Really lady? That's your final answer? "Blacks" do? Wow. You are very sad to me. & What situations are those? Ooohhh! You mean the ones where we are unjustly stereotyped by Caucasian Ignoramuses? Oh, Ok! I gotcha!

Johnw11
Johnw11

@DonnaArtist  My last reply to you, because it's obvious you do not have the intellectual depth to engage in high level discussion.

I've already explained the facts, you present some credible data to dispel the facts that have been presented, if you're intellectually capable. Otherwise, your self-serving delusional "cognitive dissonance" is a waste of everyone's time.

You are not the first racist troll to wander here with that kind of right wing, three-year-old-like, "concrete" thinking.

But you are probably the first one that I've replied to twice. So, frankly, take your medal for that achievement and get lost.

This is a professional question: does your loneliness often cause you to jump in other people's conversations where you are not invited? If so, and it probably is, since disordered people (and you look borderline schizophrenic) tend to behave the same way in all their socio-environmental interactions, then other whites are most likely sick of you also.


Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

@Johnw11 Notice you are the only one who paid this person any mind. Damn thing looks like a computer wrote it.

JESS2248
JESS2248

@CarlyJoseph @DonnaArtist She really said that didn't she? Well, white people are racist. They get very offended when put in uncomfortable situations dealing with race, culture, ethnicity...etc, and that deep seeded racism surfaces; then they blame Obama for the division. They can't help it. 

Deebrown
Deebrown

You are stereotyping because there is nothing and I mean nothing like the fury of a white man! When they get angry numerous people die.

LyndiaPitts
LyndiaPitts

@DonnaArtist 

I live in Chicago and there spots on the North side that are filthy, there are spots on the south and west side, that are BEAUTIFUL.
Thus, what are you talking about? I live in the 19TH ward. THE POWERFUL 19TH WARD. A neighborhood that YOU can't afford to live in.

HANNIBAL the VICTOR
HANNIBAL the VICTOR

@DonnaArtist You are a classic white supremacist. You expect blacks to respond to white hostility with passivness. We should just roll over and take whatever abuse you decide to dish out. Not gonna happen dear!! Wise blacks understand that the only way to survive in america is to treat people EXACTLY the way they treat you. Not better , not worse , exactly the SAME.

jillabuss
jillabuss

Attack this woman as many may, yet I sympathize with her. This week end brought that same uncomfortable feeling when 3 African American women showed how violent we are with one another.  While shopping at J.C. Penny, three women's children were sitting on the counter, destroying everything on it. Ripping the candy open and eating it on the spot, while stuffing their pockets candy and anything else that would fit. The woman in line in front of me questioned who the children belonged to, and would they get their children.They responded by telling the woman to mind her own business, after all, " they are only children". She responded by telling them the children were destroying the merchandise on the counter and stealing candy, and that they should control them. They further started threatening the woman with violence. After listening to the hostile, aggressive attack on this woman I came to her defense by stating they should train their children better, and I became their focus. As one approached me in a threatening manner, I told her do not bring that "thug" type attitude to me because they were wrong. We then became the worse Black MFERS in the world. Times and incidents like this makes me ashamed at times to be Black. Many instances can be highlighted that would cause anyone of us to be ashamed of being black. We should check ourselves because Yes we are wrecking Ourselves. Perhaps if we treated one another with Respect, others would Respect us also.  

Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

@jillabuss You are not black and Peggy Hubard piggy backers are all over the web trying to disparage my race. Look at Madame Noire for instance. No black person that reads news articles could ever think that blacks support theft at the JC penny counter. Even our small criminal class is to smart for such stupidity.


We are under vicious attack by our enemies. Its go time.

jillabuss
jillabuss

@Rick Manigault @jillabuss : Whom ever You are I am probably darker than you. Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, on the South side. Gee your last name would make one wonder if You are Black or not. Yet that is not the point, I know what I witnessed with my own eyes. Say what you may I am an American of African Heritage, and yes some of my people frighten me. Their attitude, their dress, the concept of life, sometimes frighten me.  

Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

I like the pigmentation but hate the opinion. Hatred if the black race is trending right now And I'm worked up. Feel how you feel but I wish you would keep irrational fears in check.

Johnw11
Johnw11

@jillabuss  I believe you are of African descent. Please ignore the troll's "reaction formation" defense mechanism that was directed at you. Generally speaking, "reaction formation" is soap box behavior in which people advocate against their own guilty feelings and thoughts. For example, a person who is a thief going around accusing other people of being thieves. Or, in this case, a troll posing as Black, going around accusing others of posing as Black. (It is much deeper than that, but hopefully you get the point.)

That being said, if you don't mind my saying so, I do think you could benefit from a more careful examination of your opinions regarding yourself and other Blacks. There is no need for you to be "ashamed" of being Black because you've observed other Blacks behaving in ways that you disapprove of.

For example, here are some points you may want to reflect on:

1. Do all Blacks behave in the manner that you observed these people behave? Of course not, therefore, what differentiates these Blacks from those you've observed generally who do not behave as those you mentioned behave?

If you're honest, the answer is poverty. When people are deprived of basic economic subsistence by society, they tend to reject and disrespect the mores of that society. This is true of ALL races. Society says don't curse, talk loud, or otherwise misbehave in public; they say "m_____ F_____ society and its rules. I hear it professionally all the time, "society don't give a f___ about me, and I don't give a f___ about society."

2. The children were probably "grabbing" the candy because they were hungry. And the mothers were probably over reacting in PROTECTING their children in the manner they were, because they can't protect them in other ways. That's called "compensating." They can't provide for them all the things they want to, including safety in the streets, the home, food on the table as needed, safety from lynchers, etc. So they were probably "compensating," or, making up for that sense of inadequacy, by engaging in the behavior you observed.

3. Have you seen children of other races behave inappropriately in stores? I have. Not only grabbing candy, that's mild compared to some things I've seen. For example, I once saw a white child about 6 y/o pull down his pants and urinate in retaliation for his mother (I guess) not buying him a water gun. All she said was, "that's not going to change my mind." 

There were other whites and Blacks present. The Blacks appeared more upset than any of the whites. "If that was my child," a Black woman said to another, "he wouldn't be able to sit down for a month."

None of the whites appeared "ashamed" to be white in response to any of the incidents I've observed.

When Blacks, failing to take into account the socio-economic context of behavior of other Blacks, and instead assign it to race, or being Black; that's exactly what racists do. While excusing the same, or worse, behavior of themselves.

Finally, while almost everyone values appropriate public behavior, when Blacks start feeling ashamed of their race because of these things, chances are the "shame" proceeded these encounters. That's understandable, given the centuries of brainwashing white / supremacy racism has been teaching Blacks falsely that Blacks are "inferior."

Settle down, think, reflect, and grow to accept the fact that there is nothing wrong Blacks have done to be oppressed. Read up on Black history, learn that Blacks gave to the world civilization and virtually all its derivatives. Inferior people couldn't have done that. And no children were misbehaving and stealing candy when the enslavers came to destroy those civilizations. Nor were they stealing candy on the chattel  slave plantations, but their not stealing candy didn't end formal slavery. Children stealing candy didn't start, nor end, Old Jim Crow. And it is not the cause, nor will it end, New Jim Crow.

Besides, if I read the above article correctly, Ms. Small did not say she was "uncomfortable" around other Blacks because they misbehaved, she instead felt social anxiety around Blacks because she couldn't behave as they behave.

See how people can "project" their own thoughts and feelings onto others, as you did to Ms. Small?

In this case, I'm glad you did project, because it afforded me an opportunity to be helpful. And I hope you are not offended by my directness.


Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

@Johnw11 So let me get this right. You support a person who says they fear and are uncomfortable around other blacks? Now we see the truth about Johny. "I hope you are not offended by my directness" you have to be sh--ting me. Did you even read what she said? Being ashamed of being black is tolerable? I see some Shaun King undercover well poisoning going on. 


"We should check ourselves because Yes we are wrecking Ourselves. Perhaps if we treated one another with Respect, others would Respect us also" This goes against everything you ever said but would sell out to hate a brotha that brings way more to the table than you.


A black man who believes that black children with help from the mother are stealing candy from the JC penny counter is lower than low. You should be more ashamed than even JIll. Cameras in JC penny and even passive criminal mothers would restrain such activity. You back Shaun because you are Shaun. A Caucasian male aspiring to be black by going on a comment section and pretending. You keep exposing the truth with every idiotic post.

LyndiaPitts
LyndiaPitts

@jillabuss 

Do you feel the same way about white men that love, LOVE child pornography? I have seen white children running around stores, screaming to the top of their lungs. Additionally, whites kids are known for killing their families. What do YOU have to say about that. If you are shame to be Black, why don't you bleach your skin and pass for white? It is people like YOU that holds the race back.

LyndiaPitts
LyndiaPitts

@jillabuss @Rick Manigault 

I was born and raised on the westside. I have an advanced degree, a Realtor's license, and a home owner. Children are doing well, grandchildren are college graduates or college bound. Great grand children are all AWARD WINNING STUDENTS IN THE SOUTH SUBURBS. You should move into Mt. Greenwood, and go into Durbin's where Blacks are CLEARLY NOT WELCOME. You might feel at home there. Sissified dummy. 

APSlater
APSlater

Oh what an idiot. I had no idea until I read this. You have never seen any other race misbehaving or being aggressive? You need couch time to stop your self hate! Stop sounding like the irratinoal racist pigs out there please.

jillabuss
jillabuss

@LyndiaPitts @jillabuss @Rick Manigault : I am positive my credentials read as well, if not better than yours. Yet the level of intelligence You choose to portray with name calling and insulting remarks say a lot about who You are. Education does not make one intelligent. Remember that for further reference.