Lizzy Curland

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  • Published : April 8, 2013
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The amount seemed sensible, and the location was fair. The property owner promises she lives elsewhere. The only thing left was to admit my different race. I alert the landlady that I am African. Silence is now the only transmission through the phone. She finally spoke, and her voice came from a lipstick coated, cigarette-smoking mouth. I feel foolish and caught off guard. The landlady was running through all the different shades in her mind when she finally asked aggressively how dark I am. I was so surprised by the question that I thought I misheard. I knew I heard correctly when she started shouting again, asking if I was light or very dark. Button B and button A must to be pressed when using a public telephone booth, but in this case, they’re possible responses I could give the lady. A bad smell of stale breath, I was playing verbal hide and seek with the lady. Seeing everything red, representing my anger. The tar is the color black and it symbolizes my skin color. I am ashamed for surrendering to the fact that I have been identified as a black person, and the landlady is ashamed that her prejudice against black people has been revealed. She was thoughtful, varying the stress. She asked again about the color tone of my skin. Disclosure came. At this point, I realize that my position is one of a lost cause, and I starts to insult her subtly by comparing myself to milk or light chocolate (which are the same color). Her approval was distant. My attitude towards her changed, since the truth about my skin color was clarified in our conversation. I choose to be honest and say I’m West African Sepia, and admit my differences. The landlady is forced to admit her ignorance when she asks me what that is, and admits she doesn’t know. I respond by comparing myself to a brunette. She justifies with me that I have a very dark skin tone. I reply with a joke- saying my hair is brunette, and the only reason my palms are black is because they rub against the dirt...
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