Clare Rannigan headshot

Clare Rannigan

Lane High School, Albemarle High School

This is horrible, really horrible, but we were — I don’t know, I can’t remember how old I was — but we were not allowed to say the N-word at all.  So of course at some point I wanted to say it and I said it in front of someone who was a friend, a Black friend.  And that was the end of our friendship.  I was so horrified.  I went home and told my mother what I’d done, and she burst into tears.  She was so disappointed in me.  And I mean, I wasn’t supposed to, I just didn’t know why I wanted to see what it felt like to say that, but boy, did it make an impression on me.  And around that we had a lot of discussions.