Over the past few months, I’ve realized that most of my friends think and/or look like me. But I shouldn’t be surprised. I went to an HBCU. I’m part of a predominantly African-American sorority. And most of my closest friends come from those two communities. I’ve come to the realization that I need more non-Black friends.
Growing up, most of my friends were white. It wasn’t until I got to high school that my best friends were black. In middle school, I remember praying for black friends when I got to high school. And that’s what I got-for the next 18 years. And don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. But when you have friends that think like you and agree with you on pretty much everything, it sometimes gets old.
Of course I’m Facebook friends with a number of the white kids I went to elementary, middle, and/or high school with, but we don’t hang out or do brunch or have dinner together. (I actually take that back. I do have a white girlfriend that I have known since 6th grade and every time I go home, we see each other. And we even did dinner when she came to DC last year with her students.) I did reach out to one of my high school classmates that lives in Northern Virginia for brunch about a year ago. We weren’t necessarily friends in high school, but it was great to see a familiar face from home in DC. And there is another friend that I went to high school with who was my buddy. He lived in DC for about a year, and we went out to dinner (with his now ex-girlfriend) while he was here. And I’m happy that he came out to help me celebrate my birthday when I was home in April.
At the end of the day, one off dinners and lunches, and friends that live 8 hours away, don’t necessarily count. Well, they do, but I want more. I want non-Black friends in DC that I can hang out with on a regular basis. Those that I can talk to about my life and who have a genuine interest in getting to know me. And I want to take an active role in their lives-celebrate their monumental moments and do fun things with them. I also truly believe having a diverse group of friends will make me a better person.
But, for now, I will cherish the friends that I do have. And look for opportunities to expand my DC circle. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!