I Am Not Privileged
Jasmine Winston
with 4c tangly hair.

People question me about why I don’t have the new Jordans, own Uggs, or have a
nice hair of Vans. People also wonder why I still have the iPhone 6 in 2019. Let me
get this out of the way. I am not spoiled with gifts. My parents make me work for
most of the objects that I receive from them. And if I didn’t earn it, but still receive it,
they never fail to remind me that it can be taken away.

A lot of the time I am unable to fit anywhere. My white neighbors rush to the other
side of the street as they see me walking up my own driveway. My local health foods
grocery store that I am now employed at does it. If I am not wearing my uniform to
show I belong, I receive the glare of suspicion. Those glasses make me so out of
place.

When I walk into Black communities, my dark skin allows me to fit in. But when I
open my mouth the ones brave enough will tell me I’m “White-washed” and “I talk too
white.” For all of those who don’t get it: listen. Just because someone speaks proper
English, and had proper grammar does not make them white! But at the end of the day
I feel out of place there too.

People assume because my parents have money and we’re ‘comfortable’ that I am
happy and don’t know struggle. A Black friend and I were stopped by a police officer
at night and were alone. I realized unlike everyone, the officer didn’t know who I was
or where I came from. To him I was Black. I went home and realized that anything
could have happened that night. I was Black.

In elementary school I was told I had one of the highest MAPS scores in the state of
Wisconsin. But I was still put in the lowest reading group in the class. The teacher
tried to teach me how to spell words like ‘group’ when I already knew how to spell
words like ‘astonished’ in 5th grade. It was so humiliating. Throughout middle school
I dealt with a lot of depression and sadness for personal reasons. But people told me I
shouldn’t be upset because I was ‘rich.’

There is a voice deep down that tells me I shouldn’t be writing this. How I shouldn’t
have to explain this to people. How much it hurts to have society limit you down to
one word. But as a dark-skinned Black woman, that’s something I’ll have to deal with
for the rest of my life.

To conclude this statement I just want to say again. I am not privileged. The only
thing that sets me apart is financially. Nothing else. I’ve dealt with racism and racial
profiling. I have never thought I was better than someone who had less than me. I
have the choice to go to predominantly white private schools where I can have more
opportunities, but chose to stay in public school with a diverse community, in hopes
not to become ignorant. And stay awake. These are words from the Non-Privileged
Black Girl.
By Jasmine Winston

Privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity
granted or available only to a particular group or
person. I am not privileged. Yes, my parents have
money. They are successful leaders in the Black
community--Angela Byars-Winston, a professor in
Physiology at UW-Madison. and Johnny Winston,
former division chief of the Madison Fire
Department. Because of my parents’ success and
wealth, I am labeled privileged, the one thing I am
not. I am still Black, not only Black but dark skinned