Quentin standing in a black void.
Cover Image © Quentin Fountain

Black Perspectives #21: Quentin Fountain (Former Web Developer [Figuring it Out])

The Big Questions

SSD: There are two big questions that I’m asking every interview subject to answer.

First: What does it mean to you to “Be Black” in 2022?

QF: I don’t think I’ve ever had an idea of what it means to “be Black,” if I’m being honest. I think that’s a slippery one. It gives off heavy “monolithic” vibes to me, which I simply can’t get behind. Am I Black? Yes, I most absolutely am, and extremely proudly so. That, for me, is good enough.

SSD: Ok, moving on to Numero Dos: As a Black Person in America, what’s one thing that you wish other people knew about your daily experiences?

QF: As a Black person in America… what’s one thing people should know about my daily experiences? I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Or maybe you can drill it out of me during [this] conversation.

SSD: That’s an interesting response to this one. Another way of asking at least part of it, I think, would be to ask directly…

Have you had any experiences that you feel are unique to you because of the color of your skin? Things that have made you feel “othered” that you think you experience more frequently because of your appearance?

QF: So… I live in an upper-middle-class, predominantly White and Asian neighborhood in which I’m one of MAYBE three or four other Black people (unless they’re all hiding somewhere, which is possible). Leaving the house immediately makes me feel “othered”. There are people here who very clearly don’t approve of my presence in “their” neighborhood. Which I’m actually cool with at this point in my life. I’m fairly anti-social anyway. It can still be a bit jarring when you wave or say hello to be polite, and you either get outright ignored or the “you don’t belong here” look of disapproval from some of the folks.

It’s just part of the experience though *shrug*.

I never quite got into the middle-class lifestyle. Needless to say, none of the experiences I’ve had over the past 15 or so years have helped me get any more acclimated to it. I have a sauna, steam shower, and urinal in my basement home office bathroom though… so there are obvious perks. lol.

Long hair - don't care.

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