08/07/2011 11:11 am ET | Updated Oct 05, 2011

You're Black? How Boring

About once a month, I have a conversation that—after the initial introductions are made and small talk is in full swing—goes something along these lines:

“So where you from?”

“I live in D.C. In southeast.”

“No. I mean, where are you originally from? Are you Dominican?”



“Still no.”

And so on and so forth as we play Name That Nationality through a few more countries and implied ethnicities until at last I reveal that I’m just Black. Plain ol’, regular ol’, everyday ol’, grade A basic African-American. No frills, no spices, no extra ingredients added.