As A White Woman Living In Africa, I Can’t Talk About Race

Thought Catalog

I can’t talk about race. I can’t question it, can’t refer to it, and can’t acknowledge it. I can barely go so far as to notice it. I’m a white, middle-class, American woman who can’t speak about what it’s like to be a white, middle-class, American woman. Race isn’t on my list of approved talking points.

I don’t underestimate the weight my words would have against the backdrop of Rodney King, Sally Hemings, Jim Crow, and slave ships. I understand how inappropriate and undeserved a soapbox that would be. But if I could in fact talk about race, I would start the conversation here, in Africa, in Ghana, where I have never been so aware of the color of my skin—welcomed and adored because of it, and yet left feeling small and burdened by the historical implications.

Each morning I wake up, I can be sure that at no point…

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