it is the only tulane shirt i own. a gift from someone even before i enrolled in school…a gentle nudging in the public health direction. that’s neither here nor there…

the point is that i was wearing jeans and a tulane school of public health t-shirt. green. simple. unrelated to sports.

as i walked toward my gate to board the plane a man comes running up next to me to ask me what team i play for at tulane. taken aback from the unexpected mention of my school i tell him i don’t. then, absently, i ask him if he goes to tulane.

no. he’s a coach.

but in my head, as my mind clears i realize i’m disturbed by his question.

why would he assume it had to be sports? it wasn’t a jersey. i wasn’t wearing full warm ups or anything that resembles  a uniform. but still i got the question.

and my mind argues that because he is a coach he associates all tulane shirts with athletic shirts…but i don’t really buy it. it isn’t  a convincing argument. the truth is there aren’t a ton of black folks at tulane…and no matter what i try to convince myself, i believe that he assumed that i had to have gotten there from my physical ability.

even so – my mind comttited to that thought- i’m torn and tortured by the thought that maybe he read my shirt wrong…public health could have looked like…what could it have looked like?

when i was in high school i won a mcdonald’s black history makers of tomorrow scholarship. it was an essay contes. two of the other winners were guys at a neighboring school. when they went looking for suits for the banquet they were chatted up by one of the salepeople.

basic small talk.

she says, “what’s the occasion? ” they answer, “scholarship banquet.”

“really, what sport do you play?”

1 Comment on is it paranoia

  1. AJ says:

    makes me wanna say hummm….i get hey you must have played football…i tell no baseball is my first love and that i love ALL sports even cricket. but i understand your ponderance over that question. and it is truly justified…and he basically saw your build and wanted to recruit you away from tulane to his school. all in order to get you to play whatever sport he thought you played or he envisioned for you. so if Fish sees this he can attest to the fact that this aint gonna be the first nor the last time you are going to hear that question with that shirt or any sweat/warm-up suit on especially if has your school or any school name on it. when i wear my UT shirt somepeople ask me when did i play for UT!? i am like naah just a HUGE fan.

    but stay safe and blessed!


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