Category: Skin Pigmentation

The Bombshell

“Ok, I’ve got it,” I said.

   “Then see you on Monday.” Miss Huang assured me. But as I was about to hang up, she dropped a bombshell.

   “One more question; are you black or white?”

   There came my riposte:

   “I’m black.” I did not bat an eyelid when Miss Huang (literally translated as Miss Yellow) said to me, “Then am so sorry!” I then hanged up quietly and did not say a word.

   Lounging on a brown leather sofa, and wearing the sad face of a woman whose only son has been butchered before her own eyes, I begun to ask myself certain pertinent questions on globalization.

   “The whole world is making a fuss over globalization and enjoying every second of it. We talk of a global village to where all mankind belong, why is a person of color, who is over-qualified to teach kids at a kindergarten school excluded?”

“Did this Miss Huang, who asked me whether I was black or white realize she was playing on the global stage, and that she was expected to be an actor of global standard?” “Did she realize she was supposed to employ global tools and conform to global guidelines and not dare question me whether I was black or white?”

   Another question I asked myself was, “Is she acting according to instructions from her superiors or she was only being freakish?” There were no ready answers available.

   I then turned my mind to God, the Creator. Who created mankind in different colors – black, white, yellow, and what have you? I thought of an example of His delicate production, wonderful creation and deep sagacity in the creation of a bat. It keeps itself hidden in the day light, although day light reveals every thing else, and gets moving in the night, although night-time shuts up every other living being; I thought of how their eyes get dazzled and cannot make use of the light of the sun for being guided in their movements, and for reaching their known places through the light provided by the sun. I also thought of how the darkness of the night does not obstruct the sight of the bat, and also how the gloom of darkness does not prevent it from movement. I could only equate this lady—Miss Huang—to a bat upon whom the sun of globalization was shinning, but who could not find her way through the global village.

   Her eyes had been dazzled with racism, so much so that she could not make use of the sunrays of globalization. Like a bat, she could only see through the darkness of racism and not the daylight provided by globalization. To be sure, there are so many bats in our global village! In my own specious reasoning, I thought I could land the job my claiming to be Canadian. I was dead wrong! Canadian or not, the color of my skin—no matter where I had come from—was to be my nemesis.

To be continued…


Ayomah’s Story (Sequel 1)

One Summer Afternoon

It was a Saturday afternoon in summer, the 28th of August in the year 2004, at around 4 50pm when I made a call to an English language cram school situated in down town Taipei to inquire about a teaching job.

   “Hello, this is Ayoma speaking, are you currently hiring English teachers?”

   “Yes, we are.” “I’m Miss Huang, may I know where you from?”

   “I’m from Canada.”

   “Do you have a BA?”

   “Oh I have an MA.”

   “Wow!” She marveled.

   “Will you come over for an interview tomorrow…oh sorry on Monday?”

   “Of course yes.” I answered cautiously.

   With a pen in my hand, I asked Miss Huang where their school was located in Taipei? I wrote the address of the school down perfunctorily as she dictated it to me….to be continued.