How Does It Feel?

Copy of Copy of Zehava Arky

How did it feel to grow up Black in America?

I felt annoyed. I was asked, “Why do you speak like a white girl?”

I felt proud. I made good grades even though they expected less of me. 

I felt anxious. I was the only Black kid in a room full of kids who didn’t look like me. 

I felt welcomed. I discovered a community where I felt a sense of belonging. 

I felt ugly. I was told I was “pretty for a Black girl.”

I felt beautiful. Both my Black and Jewish communities celebrated my wedding. 

I felt out of place. I was mistaken for wait-staff at a friend’s simcha.  

I felt terrified. I was pulled over by a police officer for a routine traffic stop and he came out of his car gun drawn. 

I have felt many things. But today I feel inspired because of you.

You– who are standing up for what is right.

You– who are opening up and addressing challenging issues in a deep way. 

You– who celebrate me for who I am on the inside and the outside.

You make me feel hopeful for the future.

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Zehava Arky grew up moving around the world with her family and now resides in Be’er Sheva, Israel with her husband and two sons. She holds a Bachelor’s in Spanish and International Business and a Master’s in International Relations and Conflict Resolution – with a concentration in International and Transnational Security Issues