Confessions of a Black Girl: Just a joke

Confession: I still think about a joke my crush told in 7th grade

by Torie Richardson, editor-in-chief

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I don’t remember the exact joke my blond-haired, blue-eyed crush told during class one day, loud enough for me to hear. I only remember that it was something about stealing and running.

To be quite honest, I don’t remember much about 7th grade.

It wasn’t that great.

Exhibit A.

If you walk all the way down the hallway, past a row of cotton-candy blue lockers, you’ll find a 7th grader with puffy hair sitting in a tan-colored desk in the last classroom on the left.

I’m the only black girl, but it’s not that hard to be the only anything when your entire grade contains less than 20 people.

We don’t really learn anything in English class.

I don’t exactly remember where he was sitting that day.

By “he” I mean the blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who gave me butterflies and was going to fall in love with me someday.

I don’t remember where he was sitting, exactly.

I do remember the boy he told the joke to.

He lives down the street from me.

He has dark brown hair, green eyes, and long eyelashes.

He laughs. I remember how.

I remember: he throws his head back, as if soaking in sunshine.

He soaks in the words, and I let them soak in too.

I let them soak into my stomach and poison all the butterflies living there.

It hurts.

I don’t say anything, though.

I just sit there, wondering if blond-haired, blue-eyed boy knows that I’ve heard him.

He probably knows. He probably doesn’t care.

I wonder if he’s said that to let me know how he feels.

He doesn’t like black girls, right?

He thinks they’re thieves, right?

That’s why he said that.

I’m overthinking it, right?

I’m a senior in high school, and I still think about it.

I wonder if blond-haired, blue eyed boy still tells black jokes, and I wonder why I wasn’t brave enough to tell him that it wasn’t okay.

For the record, I think he told blond jokes too.

For the record, I didn’t think they were funny.

I don’t remember much about 7th grade.

Just him. Saying something about stealing and running.

Just him. Making me wonder what all those other kids thought of me.

Did they think it was funny?


It wasn’t just a joke.

Exhibit A.


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