I had learned to say sorry for my own safety. To avoid verbal assault, polite rejection became second nature to me. In my experience, to be a single woman walking through the world meant to carry the word “sorry” in my purse alongside my lipstick and my pepper spray, just in case.
Rather than quietly dwelling on what I could have and should have done in the past, I am choosing to march forward. My white friends can either march with me, or they can shut the door and sleep in ignorant bliss.
As for me, I stay woke.