My Mellow 4/23/16: Great article. Connecticut, especially New Haven, is considered by many to be one of the most racist places in America. You were truly lucky, but it’s clear you have you share of “other-side-of -the -coin” stories. Yes, beneficial treatment is from the same poisonous tree. Tokenism is a perfect example. We’ll let one in that meets our criteria and standards and he/she will suffice for the entire community and assuage our feelings of guilt and impropriety. That’s just wrong.
I’m surprised you didn’t mention skin color. lighter colored blacks have always enjoyed some of the better treatment you mentioned. They also often benefit from the non-black sounding names and the more educated speech patterns. A friend of mine who was a top quarter miler and attended an ivy league school on scholarship learned from his coach to be a better runner he had to learn “to embrace the pain. Pain was going to come. Learn to understand it, work with it and through it”. I agree. We need to embrace race.