Friday, March 22, 2013

Question & Answer - Part 4

MISCELLANEOUS

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Besides your sisters, do you have any black friends? Not acquaintances but actual friends. I have wondered this for a while. Nothing against anyone, I just wanted to know.

I could answer with a simple yes but I don’t think that’s good enough, so I’ll be answering this question alone today.

I'll start with a little background:

I was born in Manhattan. I grew up and went to school in the Bronx. Before I went to college, I could count on one hand the amount of white (or should I say Caucasian?) friends I had. All my friends were Black American, African, African American, of Asian descent or Puerto Rican. It wasn’t that I didn’t want white friends, it was just that not many white children went to my schools growing up.

When I decided on college, I told my childhood friends, “we’ll be friends forever”. Let’s just say that within a few months in college that promise began to disappear. We were no longer calling each other every day. We were no longer missing each other. And that was OK. We were growing up and we were always told that the friends we made in college would be our lifelong friends. We were OK with growing apart.

I decided to go to college in upstate NY. 6 hours away from the city. Less than 2 hours away from Montreal. My first day, I quickly became aware that I was often the only African American person in my class. It was a big environmental change. I stood out. It probably didn’t help that I always wore stilettos while so many students wore pajamas to class.

I could go through pictures and show you my ACTUAL non-white friends but I don't feel the need to do that. It almost is like when a person says they are not racist because they have a black friend. So I'm not going to do that. I don't have to do that.

My freshman roommate was Italian and we became inseparable. We had so much in common that we thought it was destiny that we were set up to be roommates. First week of college, I met a guy named Chris (white) who lived in my dorm building and we went everywhere together. Soon if people would see me they would ask where Chris was and vice versa. I met Stacy (blond standing to the left of me in my wedding picture) and when I say that's a bond that can't be broken, I mean it's a bond that can't be broken. And you all know Colleen, she makes an appearance often because we moved to the same town after graduation. And obviously you know Sean. The white love of my life.

But I didn’t only make white friends. Since my parents are from Ghana I really love making friends with people who were born in other countries, etc. There is just something that draws me in when I learn you were born somewhere besides the US. I made friends from Morocco (in my wedding), from Romania, from Peru, from India, from Korea (in my wedding), from Jamaica, from Dominica (small island in the Caribbean). The nickname for my friends and I was “United Nations” because we were from everywhere.

The day before we all graduated the amount of tears that were shed was … let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. We were all heartbroken. But it made things easier because I moved with two of my sorority sisters (both from Dominica) and we just continued "college".

Many of these (non-white) friends do not make the blog often because of distance. But distance hasn’t killed our friendships because of technology. It is easy to keep in touch and when we do see each other it is as though time has not passed us by.

So yes, the answer is yes. I have actual black friends who are not acquaintances. But I’m more grateful that I can say that I have friends from everywhere. I’m proud that regardless of the color of your skin, I am willing to welcome you with open arms.

So my question that I'll answer is: Does it really matter where your friends come from? I think it does somewhat. If you're only choosing to be friends with people who are like you then that is a problem. So if you happen to meet a person who could possibly be your soul friend, don't make it stop there because of the color of their skin. You can thank me later.

And now I'm off the soap box. I'll return there in a month or two ;).

Have a fabulous weekend, loves! ♥

40 comments:

Kathy C. said...

Well said!! Love that you had a United Nations of friendships! :)

Mrs JK said...

Oh yes, well said.

I so can't believe you wore stilettos to lectures. FAITH YOU ROCK :)...lol. Just yesterday I decided to start wearing them when I clean the house ;)

Adrienne said...

United Nations!!! How perfectly put! :)

I'm envious of your friendships!

And now wish we lived closer more than ever <3

Highly Favored said...

I love this. I always thought that the same friends I had growing up would be my friends for life. But just like you said, you grow apart due to various objectives, life perspective and just simply life.

Today, I don't have a lot of friends but the very few that I hold close do not look like me. It is exhilirating to have friends from different cultures on like your own as you lean and get exposed to so many differnt things, customs and cultures. I thank God that I can experence friendships with other humans that don't necessarily look like me.

Kirsten Wiemer said...

i love this. i've noticed that my school now is heavily Caucasian. however, i've always been the one to like diversity. my best friend forever, despite the fact that we are opposite sides of the country will always be the same girl, and i don't care how different we are, we just will always be best friends.
i'm excited to move to a city of such diversity and be able to diversify my friend pool.

K

Emily Gilbert said...

It's kind of funny you wrote this. I usually get asked if I have any white friends :\, LOL. I have 3 BEST friends one is Mexican, one is Arab, and the other one is black. & of course Dom is half black.

I of course have friends of my own race too, I just try to treat everyone with kindness & if they wish to be friends with me I'm all for it.

Carolyn said...

Love this! :)

Cece said...

I grew up just the opposite. No black friends all white friends just because there were hardly any at my HS or College. Now I have a mix of both. Funny that someone would ask. Not in a bad way though. I guess they were just curious. That is very cool that you have so many international friends.

The Mrs./The Mom said...

I've met some of my closets friends in college. I even met my non-black hubby in college. Oh what wonderful things college brings!!

Kay @ Slightly 0bsessed said...

Great post. But..um..seriously? Someone asked you that? *face palm* Does it matter if your friends are purple/blue/yellow/orange/red? Regardless of their ethnicities, upbringing and religion I'm sure your friends are wonderful people.

Law_Fal said...

That's a really random question to ask someone....
I love the fact that you wore stilletos everyday, I did too hahahahahaha looking back I have no idea why I walked miles to class in heels but it just made so much sense back then :)

YeamieWaffles said...

I don't think it's fair of the person who asked this question to get any stick because obviously he/she didn't mean it offensively but your answer is just perfect Faith. It shouldn't matter what colour your friends are because it's the person that matters. I can also relate to the school thing, I barely talk to some of my school buddies.

Life with J and J said...

Well written! My family is often referred to as the United Nations. We have quite a few nationalities in my family :-).

Maria said...

this was a fabulous post! i agree with you...if your friends are all alike, how fun is that really?! since middle school, i've always had a really diverse group of friends...all different but somehow the same. i love it that way. your wedding photo is beautiful! you're blessed with so many wonderful women!
have a sweet weekend. xoxo
maria

Nancy said...

It's not the color or quantity of friends, it's the quality.

You are a beautiful soul, Faith.
Well written!

Sharon said...

I love this post!!

I am from Northern Europe and my boyfriend is from Brazil, my aunt is from Indonesia and my other aunt and both of my cousins are from Suriname! My cousin (aka my sister!)'s daughter is half Indonesian and half Surinamese. So I guess I kind of know what you mean haha!

Have a great weekend :)

Susannah said...

What an interesting question. I really don't think it matters what race someone's friends are. I don't have many non-Caucasian friends simply because there aren't many non-Caucasians in my sphere of influence. My brothers and sisters (adopted from Ethiopia) don't have many non-Caucasian friends either but that's because they're growing up in Spokane, Washington where there aren't many non-Caucasians. I think people focus far too much on race. We should be friends with people we get along with, we shouldn't be on the search for people to be friends with simply because they're another race than us - proving we're not prejudiced.

I really appreciate the way you handled this question.

Brittany said...

I think it's awesome that you have so many friends from different backgrounds and walks of life. That says a lot about you as a person...how intellectual you are, and not to mention caring and compassionate to have as many people close to you as you do! I agree with you, it's fascinating learning about other cultures through people that have lived and breathed a different way of life than us...it's what makes the world go 'round. What a sad, one-dimmentional planet this would be if we never stepped outside our comfort zone or talked to anyone other than our neighbors.

Katie said...

As always, so well said! I feel the same exact way as you. I feel so fortunate that I live in an area with a mix of people as far as origin. Whenever I go back to South Dakota to visit family, I'm always like, geesh, everybody is the exact same around here! Boring!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Nylse said...

This was just the right post to bring me back to blogland. i grew up in the bahamas and most of my friends were bahamian (all different hues).
i came to the states and did not make friends easily..in college i hung out with a diverse group of people including Jack a white boy - he was really cool and I wonder what happened to him.
when i got married and had children most of my friends looked like me,and now that I have moved to california the people that I call friends look nothing like me. we are a true melting pot and learn so much from each other; and I've learned it doesn't matter the external package its whats on the inside that knits you together.

Pegster said...

The person probably asked the question out of curiosity. I don't think it was malicious.

I do love the way that you answered and it really doesn't matter what color or background your spouse or friends are

Whitney Cypert said...

I think it is so interesting to make friends with people from all over the world. That's one reason I love blogging! It helps you learn more about yourself when you can take a genuine interest in all kinds of people. Growing up in a small West Texas town, I didn't have too much opportunity to meet different types of people, but now that I live in Denver it is one of my favorite things!

josie renee said...

I love your diverse group of friends.

BTW: what sorority are you in?

Amol Patil said...

Wow!! amazing article.. I salute to your friendship and for your group. "Love that you had a United Nations of friendships"

Marriage | Shaadi | Vivah

Amy said...

Great answer to the question. One day people won't need to ask questions like that because having a united nations of friends will be so normal that people will be asking why are all your friends only of one color!

Nadisha said...

My husband and I also have a diverse group of friends ( age, sexual orientation, race, nationality,interests). I love it when they all get together, my home becomes a melting pot. This is especially important to us because I want my children to respect and embrace diversity which comes from what they see us do and hear us say.

Rocker Chic said...

Faith,

I always knew you were AMAZING but today you are uh-mazing!! Loved reading this and enjoyed it!!! United Nations I love it and I think it fits you perfectly. It's always great to have friends from different backgrounds.

Marie Young said...

Love this post. I also have friends of many different backgrounds.

I personally believe that if you stay in ONE area then your friends may be a representation of the people of that general area, but if you travel and live a full life then you will collect friends like you would collect postcards. I've been all over and I've collected *gained* many friends from diverse backgrounds!!!


www.goodlooknout.com

Lisa - respect the shoes said...

I know what you mean, girl. I grew up in NYC too and most of my friends there were non-white. Then I moved to the SW for a job right out of school and suddenly I became the only asian or non-white person at a party. But I made friends and it wasn't really an issue at either place whether or not they were black, white, green or what. You just connect with the people you do.

Chari T said...

I love your answer to this question! At my university we have students from so many different countries that at times it seems ridiculous! I have English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French ect friends. not to mention the different places that they all come from! when we get together all the ascents, personalities and languages make for a fantastic time!
x

Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama said...

wow, well put. I think its fine whatever race friends are. Some of my friends don't understand that my ride or die #1 bestie is white. since most of my friends are caribbean because of location--but that is just what it is. Oh well to those who don't get that. Well said lady!

Monique said...

Very well said Faith! i'm glad I got to hear your perspective on this question. I coudn't agree more.

Kristen said...

Here here! :)

ROXTHEFOX said...

I seriously loved reading this post. To me, to an extent, it does matter. I think of my self as pretty open minded and I lov to get to know people from different walks of life. However, the culture I belong to is so conservative, that it's hard to be a part of a friendship that is so opposite, mainly because we would never do the same things. That being said, I have friends from every racial/cultural background.

You're a fantastic writer, btw!

WWW.ROXTHEFOX.COM

b e a t r i c e said...

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two birds said...

that's an odd question...but i loved reading your response. and of course, you look GORGEOUS at your wedding!

love jenny xoxo said...

Interesting and well said! Sounds like you have an amazing group of friends :)

XOXO

Emmett Katherine said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! The demographics where you live have a huge affect on who you hang out with. For me the opposite is true. Growing up I was surrounded mainly by white people and when I went away to university I met tons of people from around the globe.

it's interesting that someone asked that question... it's not something that's ever crossed my mind!

Georgina Castellucci said...

Faith you answered this question so eloquently and honestly - I love you for that!!!!!! xo

Desi said...

Well said girl! Preach! I love having diversity. I feel if people only want to be friends with someone of the same race as them, they are being pretty closed-minded and ignorant. Like Dr. King said, I choose my friends "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."