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Over the weekend, a Black community activist was walking in Maine with her White husband and two children when a car sped by and a man yelled the “n-word” at them. A White reporter witnessed the act and wrote about it but didn’t approach the family. The activist, who is also a blogger, schooled the reporter on the realities Black people face regarding racism.

Shay Stewart-Bouley, who runs the Black Girl In Maine blog, wrote an entry regarding the incident that took place last Friday (April 3) in Portland. Stewart-Bouley hadn’t intended to address the matter via her blog, but a Facebook post from WLBZ-TV reporter Jackie Ward, a white woman, expressed outrage at the incident and sparked a lengthy discussion on race. Stewart-Bouley was dismayed that Ward didn’t come over to ask how they were doing despite witnessing the event and writing about it in grand detail.

Raw Story reports:

Stewart-Bouley said she was “grateful” for the news anchor’s observations, but she was “saddened” that Ward hadn’t asked how they were doing afterward.

Ward later apologized in another Facebook post and said she had been reluctant to interfere with the family’s privacy when she saw Stewart-Bouley talking to her daughter and instead tried to help by writing about what happened.

Stewart-Bouley explained in a series of Twitter posts how the incident — and Ward’s apparently well-meaning attempt to publicize it — demonstrated the difficulties black Americans faced in telling their own stories.

“Blacks and other (people of color) don’t need white folks to tell our stories because somehow we become cutesy in these pieces, less than … not cool,” she tweeted. “You tell a story about us, make us sound like some cute Keebler elves … special, exotic and othered. Control of narrative matters.”

As expected, Stewart-Bouley has faced criticism for pushing back over Ward’s observations but gamely defended her stances via her Twitter feed for much of Easter Sunday. Her once public account has been made private in the days since the incident.

Was the reporter out of line for writing about her observations? Is Stewart-Bouley right in her response to the Facebook post? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

UPDATE: Our apologies to Mrs. Stewart-Bouley for including the previous photo. We were contacted by her and removed the last photo.

Photo: Facebook