I AM THAT ONE BLACK FRIEND: Lessons From A Magical Unicorn by Cassandra A. Porter
In June 2020, when the world saw the unrest in America because of centuries of systemic racism, my phone/inbox/email account started to blow up. I began to evaluate why I was the object of these requests. I realized that I am the “magical unicorn”. I am that one black friend they feel comfortable asking these things. I even began to wonder whether those asking me these questions, knew the experiences that caused me to be able to respond without offending, with compassion, and with specific examples. My ability to respond to questions that just happened to occur to you, is a result of my lived experiences over the past 46 years. My ability to smile as you comment with surprise about my responses, “Oh wow, you answered that so well,” or “You were so kind in your response,” is a fine-tuned skill – that of a magical unicorn. It takes skill to explain oppression, that was in fact perpetrated by you (as in a collective “you”) without causing you (as an individual) to feel bad about said oppression. I hope the lessons I share will help move the racial equity conversation in a positive direction, because, I am that one black friend, sharing lessons from a magical unicorn.