A post on making friends as a Black Autistby Ky Kennedy, Co-Founder + CEO
If there’s one thing in life I’ve learned it’s that no one is ever alone in their experiences. But it may feel that way if you never hear someone else talk about it.
My social interactions growing up were only made possible through studying others’ social interactions, mirroring them, and scripting.
As a black autist who did not grow up in black culture, I found it incredibly difficult to learn the nuances of it. Especially when it came to AAVE, which is heavy with figurative language, it does not come naturally for me to speak or understand.
This led me to feel incredibly alienated from my black peers, not to mention I grew up in primarily white areas. It wasn’t until I moved to El Paso, TX for middle school, where I was surrounded primarily by Black and other POC, that I was able to make black friends.
But when we moved back to Florida, that changed again. I wasn’t around black people as much so the people I mirrored were always white.
Still to this day, I struggle to find black spaces to occupy that will not expect me to understand black culture already, as it’s something I’m still playing catch up with.
Stay tuned for our next post – Neurotypical Allies: What Can You Do to Help?
One response to “Do you have trouble making friends with your black peers?”
Ooooh Ky I’ve had the same experiences (growing up with mostly white people, learning to figure out AAVE, being called “white” for my special interests). Sometimes I feel like I consume social media with the sole purpose of being up to date on Black culture. Thank you for sharing!
LikeLiked by 1 person