#InspiredBy | Is “The Nod” Enough? A Letter to the Other Black Person in an Overwhelmingly White Place by Rachelle Smith
The Nod: A Subtle Lowering of the Head You Give to Another Black Person in an Overwhelmingly White Place
By Musa Okwonga
Illustration by Daniel Zender
featured article from Medium.com
Is “The Nod” Enough? A Letter to the Other Black Person in and Overwhelmingly White Place
I see you. You see me too.
Perhaps we’ll nod, smile or point briefly to each other.
Acknowledge we are not alone and pleased to see someone familiar in a crowd of light faces.
I thank you, fellow skin sibling, for the kind presence of mind in potential cultural loneliness.
Yet, would you nod at me if we were the only ones on the street?
In a crowd of brown faces would you care to point or smile?
Would our cultural connection matter then?
Could I be your neighbor and vocally greet you in the morning like grinning lips
While you respond with a verbal tilting of the head?
Or will you wonder why as stranger dare address you?
Wonder who this neighbor is and how to avoid eye contact.
I am near you.
I have a hammer for you to borrow in helping you build your house.
Still, you do not nod.
You do not smile.
You do not point in my direction.
Until, we are alone in a crowd of light faces.
- Rachelle Smith