i just got back from a mini-vacation to see family in Atlanta. everyone knows that "hot-lanta" is nicknamed the chocolate city. lots and lots and LOTS of black people. for the black people that live there, it's NO. THING. but when people that are from up north go down there, it's like being a kid in a candy store. to walk the streets and everywhere you go there are black people? it's really something. and not just the average joe black person, but black professionals. there's never a feeling of feeling like you don't belong. instead, it's the white people that are mentally dismissed, like the way they do us. it's an indescribeable feeling. i feel SO "in place".
so it got me thinking. white people must feel that way ALL THE TIME. i mean, everywhere they go, there are their people. no wonder it's so easy to feel invisible in portland. well specifically the Hawthorne district, where my mom and i went this past summer.
we took my kids over there to stroll around in the evening time. all along Hawthorne street is riddled with novelty shops and eateries. we walked past several restaurants where the white people were laughing and drinking, having a good time. it's hard to explain, because of course who looks around at passersby while they're eating? but this was different. it's like, we were in a sea of white people who were chatting and having a good time, and never even saw us. we were invisible. like i said, it's hard to explain. it's something as simple as someone looking at you and instead of giving you a "hello" smile, just merely looking past you. it's like that. and it's not that i wanted attention, it's the feeling of not being thought of as important enough to be noticed.
but the same way i felt so at home, and felt so much like atlanta was where i belonged, all the white people here must feel that way and so much more. no wonder they love it so much here in Portland. what if portland was only 7 percent white? would they love it as much? i dont think they would. would portland be the same city if it were only 7 percent white? i'll have to get back to you on that one.