The Problem, and Possibility, in Asking People of Color ‘Where Are You From?’
Your curiosity does not take precedence over another person’s comfort
“Recently, a friend of mine asked me why people of color often get defensive when White people ask where they are from. She had a new friend whose heritage she was unsure of. She genuinely wanted to learn more about him and asked where he was from. Her question led to a disagreement, hurt feelings, and offense on both sides.
For people who don’t fit the stereotypical social expectations of an American identity — whether because of their skin color, accent, or any number of factors — this question can come up a lot.” — Bridgette L. Hylton
Read Hylton’s story in its entirety below.