I duck my head and walk faster. If my brother were with me, he’d stop and yell out. He’d tell them white fellas off.
“Blackie! What’s wrong?”
I break into a run. I reach the stairs and jump down them two at a time, my sandals slapping against the concrete. Turning the corner when I reach the bottom, I run along the hall and into one of the Oodgeroo Unit‘s computer labs.
“Hey, tidda,” says Merindah.
I sit next to her, leaning back in my chair.
“What’s got you so black in the face?” She bursts out laughing.
I say nothing.
“Hey, lighten up. I’m just gammon.”
I try to smile, but I think I just grimace.
“Those gubbas again?”
I nod, logging into the computer I’m sitting at.
“Don’t think on it, tidda. They’re not comfortable with themselves. Doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable with who you are.”
I successfully smile. Merindah always knows what to say to cheer me up.
Signing into Twitter, I tweet “skin shamed again #blackisbeautiful”, then open that hashtag. Lots of support out there if you know where to find it. Hateful people sometimes bash the hashtag, but they’re shut down almost instantaneously by a whole heap of people who are trying to break the mould.
Aboriginal English words and definitions sourced from here.