Catch up with Lara and Giselle’s story here, Strength in Numbers
Have you been followed through a store?
Does your Tinder match tell you that you’re cute for a white girl?
Do people tell you that you talk funny for a white girl?
Are you questioned about where you come from? Like really come from?
Do people question you when you put on sunscreen?
Are all white people related? Do you all look alike?
Giselle kept going until she heard the soft murmur come from Lara. “Excuse me,” Giselle asked. “I said stop it Giselle, I get it,” Lara whispered. At that moment Giselle looked at Lara and knew that there was strength in numbers. This was a good starting point.
Lara stared at her best friend for the last 15 years with disgust wallowing deep in her stomach. For all of these years she had never taken into account what it was really like for Giselle to be a black woman. To Lara, Giselle was always the chick with the perfect dark bronzed tan and bouncy curls that ran through the streets by her said. All of the small instances of when she was really treated unfairly started playing through Lara’s mind and the tears weighed down her eyelids. She felt the soft warmness of Giselle’s hands clasp over hers and her the sweet melody of her best friend’s voice whisper, “Lara, it’s alright.”
The tightening in her chest just wouldn’t stop and she fought to get out all of the words that she wanted – no – NEEDED to say to Giselle.
Lara gently blinked and let the tears flow from her eyes and the words just spilled out. She apologized for her inability to recognize over all these years the hardships that Giselle faced as a black women. She reassured her friend that she would never again take for granted any opportunity to ask the right questions when it came to racial issues. Lara told her best friend that she wouldn’t allow the tension to build between them over something she truly wanted to understand.
The tears started to flow freely from Giselle’s eyes and Lara quickly stood out of her seat to give her best friend the biggest hug she could muster. The embrace lifted all of the weight of the world off their shoulders as they looked at each other smiling through tears. They knew that at this moment they were a united front, moving forward as allies, and even better friends.
“Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.” -Rosa Parks