Juliette Avila b. 1977

When she was in junior high, Ms. Avila went over to her friend Mindy Bixler's house. Mindy's father was a preacher. Ms. Avila wore her hair naturally curly that day. Preacher Bixler asked her what her background was. She told him. He was surprised and said, ''You're not black?'' I laughed. ''Uh, no. I'm not.'' ''Yes you are. You're black. You have to be. Your hair....'' He stopped there. Then he continued, ''You're black.'' So she just gave up and lied, ''Yes. I'm a little black.''