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Corrine Jasmin, 22, Pittsburgh, Pa.,  questions who is setting the standard of beauty for Black women in America. (Photo by Aaron Warnick/PublicSource)

My mom was on a date with a man who later would become my stepdad. They were in a bar in Corry, Pa., an hour outside of my hometown of Erie. For some of the time we lived in Corry, she and I were the only Black family in the town. Mom stepped out to use the lady’s room.

According to my stepdad, onlookers gazed at my mother as she was walking to the bathroom and asked him who she was because they had “never seen a Black woman that beautiful before.”

My stepdad, who is White, proudly told the gawking men at the bar that she was his girlfriend. The men continued to stare. He also mentioned somewhere in the exchange of words that she was Haitian. One of the men at the bar scoffed and said, “Better watch out, she’ll put a curse on you.” They turned their backs as my mother approached.



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