A white professor runs up to me from halfway down the hall.”I like your hair,” he says, without introduction. I have enormous curly red-blonde hair that has an obvious African texture.
"Very Irish."As he says this, he reaches out and touches it without permission. I almost gasp at the forwardness of it. I catch myself, smile weakly, and say nothing.
My hair is not Irish — I am light skinned and blonde, but I am Ethiopian and Turkish. I smile and say nothing. I am passing and that knowledge feels filthy in my head.