Driving While Black and Female


The Root's contributing editor Demetria L. Lucas, in a piece for Clutch magazine, chronicles the experiences that convinced her that racial profiling of motorists knows no gender.

Sixteen years ago, I got my driver's license. I bounced and hopped my way into the house where my dad was waiting for me, expecting him to geek out right along with me. This was a big deal. Free-dommmm!

… And then I got a speech I wasn't expecting about getting pulled over by cops.

It was said as a given that it would happen, even if I followed all the traffic rules. I knew what they were: Answer "Yes, sir" or "Yes, officer." Keep your hands on the 10 and 2. Comply with requests. Don't talk back. Ask to reach for your license and registration. No sudden movements. I just didn't think they applied to me.

Driving While Brown, that baffling phenomenon of black and Latino men getting pulled over by cops simply for being behind the wheel of the vehicle, only applies to guys, right? The stories I've heard of DWB usually come from folk who look about like BET news anchor TJ Holmes — not in the fineness factor per se, but in that they come from people who are black and male. Not like, you know me — black and female.


Read Demetria L. Lucas' entire piece at Clutch magazine.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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