As he walked down to the bus station he couldn’t help but notice the raw look on the faces of the people he passed by. They gazed at him in a cold and unfriendly manner, some with disgust and disdain written all over their faces. Their plain hard stare made him feel uneasy and he picked up his pace. The ground felt hard and cold under his feet which was unusual for a really sunny day, no doubt the rains had been quite scarce that year, but the ground felt foreign to his feet.
He got to the bus station with a queasy feeling and a puzzled look on his face. The bus had not yet arrived and there was a long line of people surging to get bus tickets from the ticket booth up ahead. He joined the line and almost immediately the rush stopped; everyone was staring at him, peering hard with much irritation, their gaze piercing hard right through his skin. If eyes could kill he would have dropped dead right on that spot. He felt more uncomfortable, as they began avoiding him but still most concious of the ticket buying. Battling with the squeamish feeling their gaze brought, the intense heat of the sun was no better as it burned high and hard through his cloth piercing right through his flesh. He was feeling roasted. “Curse this sun,” he muttered under his breath as he struggled to maintain his position on the line amidst the full glare of the people around. The hot sun made him realise how thirsty he was and he wished for a cold drink.
“Mum look,”a little child screamed out, “that man is black.” Everyone turned around to look at him, as he looked at the child still pointing at him. She held onto her mother’s hand as she continued “why is he in a line with white people?” He prayed for a miracle as the line seemed not to be moving. Then he noticed something quite weird, he was at the back of the line; the last person on the line- he had been unconciously bounced to the end of the line and as such was the last person on the line. Why?
Because he is Black!!!
After buying the ticket, he sat under a shade waiting patiently for the bus as he sipped the drink he bought at the station’s shop. Prayers finally answered, the bus arrived and he scurried to his feet to join the line of people queining to enter the bus. Getting on the bus, he noticed that there was still that skin-piercing gaze of everyone on him.
“You can’t sit here.” A voice behind him said. Quite startled, he turned around and saw a man quite older than him, peering hard at him through the spectacles he wore.
“Why?” he asked in an uncertain tone.
“What do you mean why?” the man bellowed at him, “you are black, the whites sit in front, the blacks sit at the back” he spoke further “that’s if there is a sit at the back”, he added, stirring up laughter from the people in the bus.
With uneasiness and fear of physical harassment, he moved to the back of the bus. Having a feeling of insecurity and unsure of his life and safety, all because…
HE IS BLACK!!!