Until I was 13, we lived in a 100%-white, blue-collar suburb; then we moved to a slightly more upscale 100%-white suburb. Back then virtually everyone on tv was white, as well as movies and books. But sometimes, at an early age (maybe 4-6), my mother would take me downtown on the streetcar. This was the only time I ever saw black people in-person, up-close. I remember a few early impressions. First, I don’t remember ever seeing a black man who didn’t have a moustache; the only white men who had staches were old grandfather types. Also, I couldn’t help noticing that black women wore bright colors that white women would never wear. I remember a woman wearing a yellow and purple dress, which utterly fascinated me. And once, I saw a very dark young black man who was dressed up, and I remember liking the contrast between his white collar and his skin.
Those were my only impressions of non-whites as a child (there were no Asians at all). So to those of you who also had racially monolithic childhoods . . . what were your early impressions when encountering people of other ethnicities?