“I’m sorry, did you say you worked for the…?”
An arched eyebrow, a quizzical look, a quick reappraisal of the dreadlocks, the accent (could she be American? perhaps Welsh?), the attitude, the general foreign-ness.
And so on, and such like.
It’s not that I’m the only black person in the building, at these conferences I attend, or the events I often cover. It’s just that I’m often the only one not waiting tables, or collecting coats, or generally clearing up the detritus of the Establishment.
Surprise surprise, for I am unaccountably articulate, and bright and clean, and I work in the very heart of a City where “diversity” does not quite look like me.
“So are you going home to Jamaica for the holiday?”
“I’ve never been to Jamaica, but I am looking forward to going back to Trinidad.”
Smile brightly, look them right in the eye.
“So, what do you speak in the Caribbean? African?”
But sometimes you have to blink.
Tags: race, UK