Well. Here we are.

The chameleon was a one-time thing. Probably. My name is Alaina Johns. I'm a freelance writer and editor based in Philadelphia, PA.  

 

 

If people get interracial marriage wrong, it can be worse with divorce

If people get interracial marriage wrong, it can be worse with divorce

Published on July 21, 2017 with WHYY.

“Ma-ba-so. That’s … unusual. Are you … from here?”

It’s become a bit of a ritual over the last 10 years with many people who ask for my ID, or take my full name over the phone.

I was born in Western Pennsylvania and grew up in Maryland, but over the last decade, Americans who see my whole name and deduce that it’s a tad foreign-sounding have often asked what country I’m from. Italy? Russia? Ireland?

The people who guess somewhere in Africa — even though they don’t name a specific country — are onto something.

Every time somebody claims that racism isn’t a problem anymore, I think of the time I was job-hunting in Philadelphia and asked a colleague for feedback on my resume. Part of the advice she reluctantly relayed was to take my married name, “Mabaso,” off of my resume, and go by my maiden name, “Johns.”

Otherwise, potential employers would see my name, assume I was black, and throw my application in the trash. Read more. 

 

A new Octavius Catto statue: A monumental Philadelphian recognized at long last

A new Octavius Catto statue: A monumental Philadelphian recognized at long last

On the way to... Bethlehem Musikfest

On the way to... Bethlehem Musikfest