Updated: Jul 24, 2020
I’m a mixed-race girl and proud.
Until recently, I feel like I’ve never known who I am and what I consist of deep down. I’ve run through my head a thousand times about the fact that I’m not from just one place, but it hasn’t sunken in properly, and still, now it makes me question it and think. All of a sudden I’m confused that I’m not one “solid” race. I’m not from just one place or identify with one culture.
Am I meant to accept it? Am I meant to understand it? Am I meant to question it? Am I meant to just get along with it? I don’t know. But with the current Black Lives Matter surfacing the internet, it sparked a curiosity within me.
One thing I don’t let slide is when somebody makes an unnecessary comment or creates an idea in their head that I am more something than the other. I’ve never noticed how many times I’ve been spoken to about the fact I’m mixed-race, whether it’s something positive or negative.
There are so many reasons why I love being a mixed-race person, mainly experiencing different family cultures which are now normal for me as it’s how I’ve been brought up.
Another thing is educating people. Starting a conversation about my race and being able to talk positively about it with others is what I enjoy. But educating people when I shouldn’t be is what I hate.
I can’t stand comments that people think I won’t be offended by because sometimes I’d just go along with it, or laugh like it was some sort of joke. I knew I couldn’t stand it when I started to stick up for myself, but it’s hard in a group of people where nobody else is of the same race, just like how it can be with any race.
Comments I hate are: “You’re so white. You’re so black. You act white/black. Why don’t you look like other mixed-race people? You’ll never get it 'cos you’re only half.” And the one that makes me furious, “Would you rather be fully black or fully white? (I know you wanna say black)”. Which is the race that people most commonly assume I’d rather be?
I don’t know how to be more straight-up than to say that you can’t act a colour and I can’t physically be more of one than the other if I’m half of each. What annoys me is when people tell me what I am, having no idea what it’s like to mixed-race, which I understand is the same with other races.
Asking me to choose which race I’d rather be, is like asking you to pick your mum over your dad when both parents have raised you together, equally and love you the same. It’s impossible. So for me, asking me to pick a race is like asking me to pick my mum (the white side of me) or my dad (the black side of me). I can’t be made to choose one parent over the other. I’ve been raised with black culture and white culture and asking me to pick which I prefer is impossible. I just can’t do it. I love my parents equally and I couldn’t possibly for example pick my dad because I’d rather be black than white, forgetting every single thing my mum has ever done for me, which I would spend years counting and the same with my dad. I feel proud of who I am because of them.
I can’t say that I know what it’s like to be black and have black skin or to be white and have white skin, because I don’t. But I know what it’s like to be the two combined and have a mixture of them both. I will never be a black person and I’ll never be a white person.
However in a group of all black people, I know more of what it’s like to be white, and in a group of white people, I know more of what it’s like to be black. This is because I’ve experienced being labeled as being both a “black girl” and a “white girl” despite the fact of not being either one.
It might not make a lot of sense but we’re all figuring out who we are day by day and trying to uncover our identity. I deep down feel more than proud to be mixed race.