My mom was black.
But I didn't know it.
I was young, maybe 6 or 7. I remember being in a store with Mom, and seeing 2 men talking. We were close enough to hear them talking. I couldn't tell you the exact conversation that was shared between them. I remember the look on my mom's face. It was not her normal happy or determined face. She had a look of disappointment and uneasiness. I didn't know why. She wouldn't tell me.
Later that night sitting around the dinner table, my parents were talking. Ian ate happily, but I couldn't help but try to listen. I looked back and forth at their lips, trying to catch what they were talking about. I don't remember the exact conversation, but I do remember knowing she was talking about the two men. My mother said something about how one man was "black." I was confused.
Mom, what does a "black man" mean?
They looked at me, then each other. Dad simply said, "It just means his skin is …