Until 2012, I didn’t know better. I thought that the civil rights legislation of the 1960s had leveled the playing field. I thought, I, as a Black woman, had opportunities to succeed equal to anyone in America. I was living in an illusion, thinking that some people just didn’t try hard enough, and others needed more education. I believed in a meritocracy. I thought if you dressed a certain way, got a certain level of education, talked a certain way, you could, no, you would get ahead in America. Then Trayvon Martin happened.

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