By: Linsey Orelien
I’m not the same anymore? Did I change? Did I forget where I came from? Are just some of the questions I constantly ask myself. Oh the suburbs so beautiful, so calm & so white. Yes I said it so white. If you would’ve told me 3 years ago that I would be living in the suburbs, and that I would discover myself more then the average person would at 17, I would say “you’re crazy and you watched too many Cosby episodes”. Surprisingly here I am saying thing like,
” I love reading & poems!”
“I love taking walks”
” Nature is so beautiful”
See I was raised in the city of Philadelphia for 13 years before moving to the suburbs. You would think being exposed to so much, I would understand life a little more.. but I don’t believe that anymore. School life In the city was all about materialistic things, being up on the most things, no real supervision & feeling like everyone was staring at you and getting ready to judge you.
If your bun wasn’t big enough or your shoes weren’t white enough, or the shirt you were wearing didn’t have a brand, then you were ostracized. It wasn’t about who you were but rather what you had on. I am convinced that black people are the only race to judge each other and downgrade each other for traits they share and can’t change. ” look at them edges you got all them negro naps,” oh really? Take that gel off thats been under your hair tie, and let’s see if you don’t have any either.
Under all these circumstances you could never know who you really were with all these outside people judging you from the outside, on things you couldn’t possibly change. Living in the suburbs has taught me to be alone, take a look at myself be free with my thoughts, and helped me realize yes, white people are a little extra when it comes to being overly nice to the point that it could seem fake , but it taught me that’s it’s okay to smile.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Without the concern of what my peers would think, I allowed me to be myself. Don’t get it twisted though, even at my new suburban school I come across rich white people who are bougie, but they are not disrespectful, rude? Yes, but disrespectful no. See black people have to realize it’s okay to be happy. We don’t have to go on constantly judging one another, we come in all different type of varieties you are not your skin.
We can be free it’s not easy in the city, and we know it’s not your fault not everyone can afford to live in the suburbs. The government and school system need to apply you guys with programs you would enjoy, books that you would love, education that’s not constantly repeated, just a better environment as a whole. Until all my people receive all of these necessities they will never grow. So next time you see someone judging a black person for being loud or “obnoxious” remember , “you are your environment” and to any white person whose been isolated from knowing the truth and reading this, yes the government actually does screw us over ..get over it, it’s not about you it’s about us. Thank you.
See here’s the thing when you live in a place where you see birds, trees & peace, you become your environment. Don’t get me wrong I loved living in Philly, and I still very much do, I’m a city girl by heart. Living in city was doing me no justice though. When I moved to the suburbs and I was surrounded by people who had real conversations and were polite and appreciated nature, and I found it to be easier to be myself. Yes 99.9% of these people are white. It frustrates me that black people won’t get to experience this type of freedom to be yourself, and not live in a box.
I’ve changed. I hated to admit it but I’ve changed a lot, now I’ve become proud to say so. The only reason I’m proud is because I know the truth and here it is, when you are living in a area where when you go to school you see no one fighting, clean streets and beautiful scenery YOUR MIND EXPANDS. This is the truth I don’t need any statistics to tell me so. When I talk to my friends that live in the city now , I can’t help but to feel like we have nothing to discuss, but it was mostly my fault for hiding how much growth and difference I made in myself from my friends back home and underestimating their intelligence, because they know more then I thought they just have no platform to voice their intelligence with so much chaos going on in the city.
It has been the ultimate struggle as they feel as though I’ve turned “white” but the truth is I’ve never felt more like myself. There is nothing wrong with smiling at people I promise, there’s nothing wrong with waving at people and you can definitely talk about social issues it doesn’t make you “weird” because I’ve learned the people who are titled this are the complete opposite and are considered the “weird ones”. It’s okay to be awake and take life in & be yourself.
Wear your hair natural say yea I like that one “Taylor swift song!” Only if you do of course, you don’t have to live in that whole “I’m black I don’t do this” lifestyle. Climb a mountain , run a marathon, and go fishing do it all! Step out of your comfort zone. The most surprising thing that’s made me the most irate is that in my opinion, in the suburbs it is the norm for kids to do good and I would say most kids try in school. In the city the kids that try and care about school are rare..there is so much encouragement in the schools in the burbs. Teachers care more, have relationships with students, and go to their games, anything to show students that they care. There are also a lot more resources and clubs, to keep you from trouble.Where you feel cared about & loved you will do the best.
I hope as your reading this.. You understand that I’m not judging people who live in the city or believe that just because your from somewhere different it makes you any better or less of a person. I just want to let you know the opportunities that I received and I want it to be equal for us all. Most of all be yourself …news flash you’ll never be black or white enough you can only be you ..embrace what is beautiful and try new things.
Black and whites are the same, we all got a little black in us ours is just on the outside. So respect us, do not judge us, do not judge us for where we came from or what we choose to do, because life has not always been fair to the black man or woman. Give my people a better environment.