“She plays with you when you’ve got no one to play with.” Those words were used to describe a young girl in a Sunday school class many years ago.
The adult equivalent of “not having anyone to play with” might be the experience of being in the minority.
Being a black female physician in the US, I am no stranger to this. It seems like I have been “in the minority” for the majority of my life. Those who don’t know me may be surprised to hear that I experienced “minority status” even while growing up in Nigeria. Not only was I a year younger than my classmates, I was also one of the few Nigerians in a boarding school where the majority of students were white North Americans. Later, I was the “American” in a predominantly Nigerian school. Decades later, as a “second career medical student,” I was on the other end of the age spectrum.
The only female in a group visiting a traditional ruler in Northern Nigeria during a year of national service, I wondered why I wasn’t offered a handshake along with my male colleagues, only to realize later that it was for religious reasons.
This perpetual …