Science was being the only black person in the program for four years. Science was saying nothing because I was tired of being corrected about the particulars of my own experience. Science was being told that I should consider moving to the other side of town where more black people live. Science was someone suggesting that I find a church in order to find community. Science was having my hair stroked and touched. Science was being told that I was articulate. Science was watching people’s eyes widen slightly in surprise when I told them what program I was in. Science was the constant humiliation of wondering if I had justified my presence or if I had made it harder for the next black person to get admitted. Science was having to worry about that in the first place.
Science was a place I ultimately left, not so much because I wanted to, but because I had to. Science is not being able to say that because I reflexively feel the rebuttal waiting on the other end of that sentence: You could have made it work if you wanted it enough. Science is not knowing whether I wanted it enough.Read the whole thing.