A few weeks ago I agreed to go to a country music concert with my roommate. Friday night, I found myself being dragged to a Zac Brown Band concert and for the first time in my life I experienced culture shock. Allow me to explain.
First of all, I am not a huge country music person but I will listen to it from time to time. Plus, since I live in Texas I am use to hearing it in various places in my regular life. Now the population demographics of DC and Texas a quite different. In Texas, I am use to being the only Black person or POC in the room. In DC, not so much. Usually when I go someplace that I know is going to be different from my suburbia of Texas, I can mentally prepare myself for experience a different environment. For some reason I did not do that on Friday. The absolute shock that I felt in seeing a stadium full of white people was as laughable as it was uncomfortable.
While I did enjoy the concert (enough to the point that I may have put some ZBB on my art playlist), I was really hung up on how uncomfortable I felt there. It was like being dropped back in Texas with no warning, so I didn’t have time to go, “You’r going to be the minority again.” DC is a chocolate city, or at least it is for me. I don’t live in an area where I see a lot of people walking down the street that look like me. Hell, I even mentioned to my roommate that that concert was the fist time in weeks that I had been around so many white people. I can’t even tell you why I wasn’t expecting this, but I can say that in the back of my mind I made myself be even more alert than usual because of my surroundings. Now I know I wasn’t the only POC there and I know the people there didn’t mean any harm to me, but still. I watch the news, I see how people act based on stupid reasons. For the first time in a while, I was kind of worried that me being Black might cause a problem. Which is stupid. I went to that concert to have fun with a dear friend and experience some new music. I had fun, I ate fries, drank beer, and some guy bought me a water because I found his wallet (he offered to get me something a bit more on the alcohol side of things but I just wanted a water.)
In all honesty, when I really thought about it, the whole thing reminded me of my school. People were wearing cowboy hats and boots, they were chugging down beer (myself included) and country music was playing in the background. Plus it was fun to get to watch drunk people dance. Plus the beer was good.