The time I was inadvertently “transracial”

All this talk about Rachel Dolezal has me shocked and a little amused all at once. It also got me thinking about my senior year of college.

I’ve explained before that I have (very) curly hair. Well, growing up in the South, the curly hair was often the hallmark of a person of mixed race (half black). At the time pretty much everyone who knew me also knew my parents and that we were the only (exotic) Italian-American family in the school. (No exaggeration. I was so happy when some Indian-American kids joined us in middle school.)

Then I went several hours away to college and to a new crowd. By my senior year of college I needed a new job off campus and quickly got an interview with a small shop. They were willing to work around my school schedule and hired me pretty quickly. (Sadly, I also applied at Barnes and Noble-my dream job-but they wouldn’t give me the time of day.)

Well, as one of the women was training me to close the store my first night she asked me: “Which one of your parents is white?” I was pretty confused and answered “Um… both.”

As it turns out all the other employees were certain that I was of mixed race (as a couple of them also were of dual race). But they had actually hired a white girl. Haha! I’m so glad they did. 

Jenn

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