Sidney and I met on the school van the morning of our first day as 6th graders. It was rare for me to find another West African in our city, let alone another Nigerian my age, but her father’s heavily accented farewells were a dead giveaway.
“Igbo?” I asked the stranger.
“Yoruba” she replied.
From that day on, Sidney and I would be each other’s familiar face in the strange place we called school. As we awaited our first day tour guides, we joked about how much we stuck out in our new environment. We were the only Black girls we’d seen on the campus so far and the staring was confirmation of that. Still, we couldn’t help but notice how different this campus was in comparison to the ones we were used to. With its plush student lounges marked with signs that read “No Teachers Allowed,” floor-to-ceiling mahogany lockers, and indoor tennis court, this campus was more than we could’ve imagined.