I was pulling into my driveway when I saw my new neighbor coming back from running and I waved at him. His family is the only African America family on my street. He stopped on the street and as I got out of my van, he introduced himself, as did I. As we carried on talking, telling me as little bit about himself, he continued to stand in the street at the end of my driveway. We were having a friendly, genuine conversation. Then he took a step onto my driveway, and then took a step back, and asked me “Is it ok if I come onto your property?”

I was surprised by the question. No one had ever asked me that before. Was he being polite? Or cautious? I felt like it was the latter and it made me sad. It shouldn’t be that way.