This Is Us

Reflections From a Token Black Friend

On structural racism, implicit bias, and what white people do (and don’t) say

Ramesh A Nagarajah
Human Parts
Published in
16 min readJun 4, 2020
Photo courtesy of the author.

I am regularly the only black kid in the photo. I have mastered the well-timed black joke, fit to induce a guilty “you thought it but couldn’t say it” laugh from my white peers. I know all the words to “Mr. Brightside” by the…