When I was back at school, my Caucasian friends made comments that I "knew" every Black person on campus because I would always greet one whenever I saw one (or they greeted me). I tried to tell them that I did not know ALL of them, just a lot of them. But I would also do a "nod", "smile" or a "hello", when I walked past a Black person I did not know.

I tried to explain it the best way I knew how. The majority of my school is Caucasian and only 3% of the student body is of African descent. 3% out of 20,000 students is very small. So in a way, I was trying to explain that seeing another Black person was relieving sometimes. Especially since I could be the only Black person in a 300 person lecture hall.

The best way I tried to explain it to a male White friend was that, he would do the same thing if there was such a small percentage of White people at our school.

But I am curious what are the origins of the "nod". Because I noticed this is done all over the country and is sort of a kinda of mutual silent acknowledgement. Does it have roots in slavery? But if that's so, why do African immigrants do it too?

I tried Googling but couldn't find anything. I'm curious.
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