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the black sheep of the family

Eloísa, Zacatecoluca

I grew up being called la oveja negra. I knew it was a name with negative connotations because my family used it whenever my behavior came into question.

I was in grade 8 when my African-American friend asked me what that meant after she came over to my house once and my aunt told her the story about how I was la oveja negra. 

I was in grade 8 when my friend told me it was cruel they called me that. 

I was  in grade 8 when she said she felt sorry for me because she thought I was a good person.

I was in grade 8 when we both realized how racist it was to use that, black sheep.

I was in grade 8 when I went back to El Salvador for the second time in my life and learnt that my grandmother also called my mother la oveja negra. 

I was in grade 8 when I realized how deeply rooted the sentiment against the color black was.

I was in grade 8 when I bursted into tears in front of everyone after my return telling people in my family to stop calling me that.

I was in grade 8 when I heard them say those two words in front of me for the last time.