Experiencing a lack of money and appropriate skin color: a personal narrative.”

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Herring, Roger D. “Experiencing a lack of money and appropriate skin color: a personal narrative.” Journal of Counseling and Development 77 (Winter 1999): 25-27.


The author gives a moving personal account of a variety of forms of discrimination he experienced as a mixed race person (his father was white, his mother Cheraw) and low socioeconomic status child. He attended school in Scotland County, where “lintheads” (children of textile workers) were not chosen for plays or student government positions and were placed into non-college-preparatory classes. He attended UNC-Pembroke and taught in the Robeson County school system after the school systems were merged. It occurred to him that because he had a white parent and did not look like the Native Americans in the area, he was taken to be white. His problems began when became interested in his Native American heritage, found out his mother was Cheraw, and became an enrolled member of that tribe. He has focused both professional and personal energies on aiding adolescents who are ethnic minorities, particularly those who are biracial, Native American, and/or low income. He is concerned, as a counselor and a teacher of counselor education students, that he communicate authenticity. He concludes, “I spent too much time and effort on becoming who I am. I cannot -- I will not-- I must not -- offer myself as someone I am not. My socialization as a biracial, bicultural individual will not allow me to be inauthentic, regardless of my lack of an appropriate skin color” (p. 27).

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Personal narratives | Education and schools--Merger