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Coming of Age – Lots of Flies in the Milk
As I had suspected, there were more black people in Savannah than there were in Perrysburg, Ohio. At Perrysburg High School, I could count on two hands the number of black students in the entire school (I actually can only recall enough to count on one hand but I’m being generous in case my memory isn’t accurate). In my academic classes, I was the only one.
In some ways it is hard to fully explain the impact this had on me. It’s not a sad or traumatic story. I wasn’t bullied or made fun of. I had friends – not really close ones, but friends none the less. I played basketball and ran track so I had teammates. But, I was always the only “one”. I was different. My basketball number was 11, but I suspect that sometimes when other teams referred to me they mentioned not just my number, but my race too. I’m sure it wasn’t said in a bad way, simply stating a fact…a fact that made me easily identifiable.
I was delighted when I got to Jenkins and saw lots of other black students. I was even more delighted when I got to my AP classes and discovered that there were also a good amount of black students there. I was no longer the only “fly in the cup of milk”. Lots of the other “flies” became great friends during my Senior year. Adrienne, Kisha, Tiffany, Aislee and others all welcomed me with open arms. I owe them all a bit of gratitude because they helped to make Senior year at a new school pretty awesome.