My interview with David Charbonnet, the new principal of the school, was more like a sales pitch. He was young (mid-thirties), tall, Creole, charismatic, handsome and did all of the talking. He was newly appointed and had fresh plans for the school. Mr. Charbonnet hired me right on the spot and told me to report to school in two days which would be the first day of school for staff.
I wasn't given a chance to think about it or to say no, but his pitch worked and I identified with him on some level. We lived in a city that only acknowledged two races - black and white. We, on the other hand, were both brown. Mr. Charbonnet was African American and came from a mixed, well-established, Creole family. He had light brown skin and straight black hair, and used to brag about the fact that he did not have any body hair and didn't have to shave his face. He said it was a genetic trait that he got from the Native American side of his family. I was mixed too, but not African American. But by our looks, Mr. Charbonnet and I could have been related.
As I worked at the school, I was surprised by how quickly the Calliope community claimed us both as their own.
Image credit: Sopoforic
Posted by Sabine da Silva