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Studying abroad for the second time in my college career was an exciting opportunity for me. Coming from a family background that barely left the state of Michigan, this only made me want to leave the country more. Going to London was not my plan at first, but I can proudly say I am extremely happy that I studied abroad in the UK.
As a Black person in America there are many moments where I am reminded of my race. Whether it be when I walk in a room with my big hair, or when I’m filling out documents and have to check the “Black/African American” box. Yet, during my time in London this scenario never came into the picture. I did not have to decide if I wanted to be Black first then a woman, I was just a Black woman. This made me feel comfortable in London because I knew that my identities did not put me at risk.
The only time I felt as though my identity had ever had a negative impact was when I met Black British people. I felt this way because oftentimes we would have conversations that always started with “Where are you from?” and my answer would always be “The States.” They would follow up with, “No, Where are you really from?” And I don’t have anything else to say; yet most of them could tell me exactly where their family originated. Though this may not seem like a big deal to some, this showed me again how disconnected I am from my origin due to slavery.
Other than that, my experience with my identity as a Black woman was positive.