Many of us have heard the hurtful words,” You talk like a White girl,” “Only White people do that,” and my personal favorite, “Why you acting White?!”

For many minorities, we are forced to straddle the line of being ourselves and being a representative for our entire race. While it’s unfair for each of us to carry the burden of holding up the race wherever we go, many times we can’t escape it.

Growing up I attended predominately White private schools. Although I lived in the ‘hood, my parents worked double-time to send me to schools outside of our neighborhood. While there, I was acutely aware that I had to be as good–or better–than my peers because I was representing not only my parents, but Black folks as a whole. Although I was thankful my parents sacrificed to give me a better education, there were times when being “the Black girl” grew extremely tiring and frustrating.

A new documentary, Black Girl In Suburbia, takes a look at the cultural tightrope many minorities face when they live, work, and attend schools in all-White settings.

The film’s website says:

Black Girl In Suburbia is a feature documentary that looks into the experiences of black girls growing up in predominately white communities. This is a different look into suburbia from the perspective of women of color. This film explores through professional and personal interviews the conflict and issues black girls have relating to both white and black communities. There are many girls out there who have stories to tell about struggle and triumph, but have never had an outlet to share. That’s why this film is so important! Black Girl In Suburbia intends to spark an open dialogue about race, identity, and perspective among all people. In hopes that these discussions will allow us to look at perceptions of ourselves, others and the community we live in as a whole.

Melissa Lowery’s documentary is set to be released this summer.

Can you relate to being a ‘Black Girl in Suburbia’? 

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  • jaded

    When I read the title of this post, I related immediately. When I watched the clip, not so much. I hope the entire movie isn’t in the same mopey tone. I will probably watch it, so see how other people coped, but it won’t be on the must see list.

    It can be hard to be the only one, or one of few. Because you feel additional pressure to be not fit the stereotype and put your best foot forward, as you may very well be the only black person someone talks to. Combining this with the idea that the community you hope to represent rejects you, it can be pretty. Tough.

    In the end you learn, ethnicity is not the only driver of identity..