Tales From A Multi-Culti Life: “Why Aren’t Your Teeth Black?” (Guest Post)

By Ariana

It was the beginning of the 1990’s in a small school in southern England, in a town that was once famed for making furniture, but now chain stores undercut the prices of local artisans. It was a place in decline. It was a town that had (maybe grudgingly at first) accepted West Indian immigrants from the crumbling empire from the 40s onwards, to replace the dead soldiers from the war.

More after the jump.

Here I was born and here I was aged six, in a class full of curious white children, some were mean, I got a daily beating until one of the girls, Haley redeemed me, she thought I was cute, “Look at her pretty brown eyes they are so nice just like the little mermaids, but they are not blue!” She saved me and we have become lifelong friends.

Up my road lived a girl in my class let’s call her Coralie. Coralie was tall and had a long blonde plait that reached down to her bum, that was unusual in England, the only girls that plaited hair that long were the Indian and Pakistani girls. The white girls had their hair loose and blowing, but Coralie was already different. Her mother had divorced her dad as when you found your husband in bed with another man, it was considered shameful. Coralie and her mother were outsiders from the mainstream white community.

We became acquainted, one day in the toilets when it was just the two of us she became quizzical and her nose twitched, “Why aren’t your teeth brown like your skin? And why are you called black when you are really brown?” I turned from her, “Well why are you white and not called pink like you are?” I went into the toilet cubicle that she had just left and darted out, “Why aren’t your poo’s pink as well, YOU FORGOT TO FLUSH!!!”

That is the approach we should all take to race relations, the innocent route, the unbiased ways of children.

7 thoughts on “Tales From A Multi-Culti Life: “Why Aren’t Your Teeth Black?” (Guest Post)

  1. wait why is the title black when the quote says brown? lol.awesome story. nice and short. I love it!

  2. I read your story very quickly and my mind stuck on the ‘daily beatings’ you were subjected to from those little monsters. After reading it again i realized you noted this was the 1990’s (not a long time ago), and i got even more pissed. But it’s very sweet that you and Haley are still friends.

  3. Your story brought back memories of my own childhood growing up in northern England , enduring the daily name calling and school yard scraps but that was in the 60’s… very disturbing that you would share similar experiences 30 years later.

  4. An interesting, although disturbing story. I remember in Elementary school when kids would ask me why the palms of my hands weren’t "black", and it was always the ignorant, or just plain oblivious white kids that asked me that.

  5. The ones that ask you such questions are ultimately your allies. It’s the ones that don’t ask that you should be wary of.

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