Carl T. Rowan, was probably the first African-American nationally known columnist that I ever read. He told a story that reflected how pervasive and how ridiculous our presumptions about race can be.
Rowan and his wife, bought a house in a previously all white suburb. One weekend he was mowing his yard when a white man drove by. Obviously impressed with the work Rowan was doing, the man called him to his car.
"Hey boy!", he yelled, "How much that lady pay you for mowing her lawn?"
Rowan yelled back, "Oh, she don't pay me with money. She lets me sleep with her!"