Whenever I apply for something online or over the phone, like a job or a school, the first thing I wonder when the communication ends, and ends well, is: “Oh, dear. Do they know I’m black?” I mean, did I type or speak too code-switched? I mean, maybe it’s just me, but…I don’t wake up black. I don’t yawn and roll out of my bed a fully-actualized, weight-of-history-and-slavery-and-disenfranchisement-and-oppression-and-racism’s-continuing-drain-on-American-society, black African-American. (That shit doesn’t happen till at least after I’ve brushed my teeth. And usually, not til I step out my front door.) So, will I go for the official interview and be greeted with wide, perplexed blue eyes because I’m just so darned—as my mother’s generation puts it—tall? Because it’s pretty much like I said: I’m not black sitting at home in bed. When I step out the door is a different story. One that starts and ends with my skin, as far as the world-at-large is concerned. Unsurprisingly, I tend to prefer phone interviews to in-person ones. Even if I have to ask myself that question: Do they know I’m black? And I always ask it. And a lot of times, on the heels of it: Do I?