When did you first become aware of race?
When I was about 7 or 8. A kid at church asked me if one of my parents was white, and that was my introduction to the concept of assimilation.
Pontiac, MI
While my ethnic background is an amalgamation, the concept of assimilation - both as a method of survival and a source of disdain - were considerably expanded the older I got. I left my neighborhood school and went to a predominately white, private school in the 4th grade. This environment was in stark contrast to the socioeconomic make-up of my city, but not my neighborhood. I began to experience discrimination in the form of bigotry and microaggression that reminded me of that early incident at church, yet in an almost opposite way. Both are incidents for which I am forever grateful, as it gave me the framework for addressing microaggression from a very early age - Resulting in a decreased tolerance for such mindless prejudice, and an ever-growing toolbox for communication with others.