You’re not a racist; you’re my liberal friend, the one who applauds my Africanness. But one day, in your home, you asked me never to leave the window open lest some Black — you blinked, snipped off what you were about to say, and continued — lest some thief climb through it to steal something. In your mind thieves are most likely Black. I’m the exception that you boast about to others as your best friend. In my throat that day it felt as though a fish bone had lodged there, but instead of hacking it out, I swallowed it farther, hoping the discomfort would end on its own. Newly arrived in America from Ghana, I was barely out of my teens, struggling to understand.