VOICES: Paying the Black Tax means working twice as hard to get half the credit

Note: Amelia Robinson’s column appears Sundays on the Dayton Daily News’ Ideas an Voices page. 

There are talks parents and other elders have with children, and not all of them involve birds and bees.

Words aren’t always used during these talks.

My grandfather, a petite but powerful man who fled the South for opportunities in the North during the Great Migration, changed his voice each and every time he spoke to white people.

You could not miss it.

It was a dramatic shift.

One minute he would be speaking to us in his regular, self-assured tone.

Then, on phone calls or during in-person conversation with a white person, his voice would literally change.

The bass would drop and he would sound subservient.

Every statement seemed like an ask for permission.

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