Sometimes the simplest stories lead to the biggest lessons. Ashley Owens of Charlotte, North Carolina discovered that for herself when she went shopping for some kitchenware in her neighborhood.
The young woman shared a story about getting into an argument a racist white woman — and the incredible events that followed — in a lengthy Facebook post that’s going viral both for it’s content and the beautiful way it’s written. The story is everything you need to know about everyday racism that bubbles just below the surface, what it means to be an ally for Black folks and how just one racist encounter can disrupt the mind.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. The anecdote about the ramekins pays off, we promise:
I was in a high-end store yesterday, and picked up several ramekins and other home wares that were on a serious sale. Like 90% off sale. This story isn’t really about ramekins, but I will get to why the ramekins are of GREAT pertinence later. As I was in line, the lady behind me complimented my hair, and attempted to strike up a conversation about the “rioting” happening in uptown. I thanked her for the compliment, but hesitated any further banter with her because I DID NOT want an isolated incident to support any perpetuated beliefs about people that look like me. I let her slide with a “It looks so soft and shiny, not coarse at all…” comment -__- I kindly stated that was a misconception most people have about “black hair” and continued to “fake examine” my items. She went on… “Oh I just love “black hair!” I would love to have some. I would be so happy if my hair would do that.” Again, I swallowed the lump in my throat, smiled at her, and said “Well, you can always get extensions! Then you too can have “black hair.” I turned around swiftly, and my eyes could SERIOUSLY not roll any further in the back of my head. Why me, Lord? Why? I prayed that was the end of her attempts to engage. And it was…until she inquired about some of the items I was purchasing. “Are those ramekins? How great are those colors! I didn’t see those back there.”