Once Again, An Outsider
Creative Writing Corner: From our Peers in the NHS Creative Writing Class
by Jordan Greene
The spring of my eighth grade year was going great. My grades were where I wanted them to be, my basketball season had just ended with a bang, and the school year was on its last legs. One day, I had just finished playing basketball after school with my friends. Since it was a Friday, I decided to go to my buddy’s house so we could play video games, eat pizza, and laugh at things eighth graders would usually laugh at.
While I was walking, I noticed how beautiful the scenery was on this particular day. There was not a cloud in the sky, the air was fresh, and the trees hovered over me with their noticeable beauty. There was nothing that could possibly ruin this fabulous day. Or at least that is what I thought.
While I was walking on the trail to my friend’s house, I noticed two little boys riding their bikes across from me. I supposed they were attending elementary school, since I had never seen them before. As I looked at them, I could see that they were smiling in my direction. Like any decent-minded person would, I smiled back to show kindness and express my manners. Then, all of a sudden, while they were inching closer and closer to me, one of the little boys screamed a word at me that I was worried about being called when I first moved to town.
This word has been used to degrade blacks for centuries. The person reading this article cannot imagine the weight it had on my heart; it dropped to what seemed like the bottom of the Earth. The two little boys rode past me as they laughed hysterically at me, as the smile on my face turned into a face of both anger and sadness, and eventually into tears. Though I was tempted to fight, I kept on walking the trail.
I quickly wiped away my tears as I entered my friend’s house and tried to change my mood as if nothing had happened. The only problem with that was my thought process continued to take over my conscience. I couldn’t take it. Because of this, I called my mother on my phone secretly and asked if she could pick me up. I lied to my friend about why I had to go, because I felt too embarrassed to share my new experience with racism.
My mom asked me why I asked to go home, but I told her I did not want to talk about it. When I arrived home, I went to my room and cried for hours.
When I first attended school back in seventh grade, I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew that I, a young black man from East Orange, New Jersey, would look totally different from the other kids in Nutley, so I made the best out of my situation. Two months later, I was well known throughout the school, I loved the community, and I felt right at home. But as soon as the incident with the two little kids happened, I felt like an outsider again.
From that point on, I have been eager to learn about the history of African American culture with my mom. She has taught me how to be strong at all times and all situations. Because whether you know or you don’t know, for me, being a black individual in the United States is the hardest thing to be, especially in the society we live in. But what I can tell you is that I’m proud to be black.