“I really was living a very sort of white, middle-class existence,” she recalled to the BBC. In the playground, King’s classmates would do things such as touching her hair, which instilled in her a feeling of otherness. She continued, “We sort of absorb other people’s views of us.”
And things weren’t exactly helped by King’s situation at home. Although she and her adopted brother were mixed race and black respectively, both of their parents were white. And while King knew she too was the product of adoption, her mom and dad both declined to divulge anything too revealing about her lineage.
In regards to her origin, King’s parents told her only minor details. For instance, they explained that she was originally from South Africa and that they couldn’t conceive a child themselves. All this added up to a sense of unease in King’s mind about her identity. And time did little to heal her inner turmoil.