Introduce Me as Your Friend, Not Your Black Friend

Diana R Patton | September 21 | 11:30 AM-12:30 PM | Room 2592

The “Get Out” movie, by Jordan Peele, had such a striking resemblance to an incident that occurred to this presenter at a recent graduation party. She found herself frequently gasping during the movie. She documented her experience in a blog that bears the same name as my conference title, “Introduce me as Your Friend, Not Your Black Friend”. The presenter’s friend introduced the presenter to her parents as her “black friend”. Days after the introduction, she recalled several micro-aggression comments that she dismissed over the years, such as, “We all wish we could have rhythm like you,” and “I bet you were a pretty fast runner in high school.” While these comments seem fine on the surface, they are indirect, subtle, and oftentimes unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group. In the presenter’s case, being an African American woman, who is of mixed race, she would often rationalize away her feelings – that these comments did not seem right. In her life, the presenter has also spent time guarding herself against what Jordan Peele describes in his move as the “sunken place”. She realizes more people need to be educated on these topics and how to “stay woke”.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Allow participants to examine, be aware of, and respond to micro-aggressive comments
  • Describe how to recognize the “sunken place”
  • Explain how to consider character, as opposed to race, when introducing someone
  • Explain how to fully understand and train in your own identity to relate to others who are not like you

About the Presenter