So here’s some tea,
I am a product of a biracial couple; my mother is Canadian with Irish descent and my father was born and raised in Jamaica. I resemble my mother but have a lot of my father’s features. Such as the caramel complexion, curly hair and dermatosis papulosa nigra (small black or brown moles on the neck and face)
Growing up in Toronto, ethnicity was never brought it. Maybe because no one cared but when we moved out of the city to the suburbs I could tell there was a divide. I’m not speaking in terms of segregation but you can tell everyone was a bit more inclined to know your background there. I was too dark to be considered white but too light to be considered black.
‘Light skin’ was what I was referred to as. In a strange way being biracial put you on the outs. I had many moments in which I struggled with my identity. The constant desire of wanting to touch and talk about my hair drove me up the wall. As a result I shaved my hair off (Halle Berry style) not once but twice! As India Arie said “I am not my hair” I was a person and a soul that lived within. It’s crazy to look back and realize that struggle I had.
When my father was present in our lives he would make sure we understood our culture and also that the N word was never to be used. It was not only racist but distasteful to use knowing the history behind it (10 hours of the Roots dvds made sure of that)
Therefore if anyone that’s knows me understands that if you’re Black, White, Hispanic or Asian I don’t care what you are never use that word around me. I even skip the word in hip hop and rap songs.
The older I got the more I embraced both sides of myself. But in the eyes of society I am a black woman and I am proud of that. Even in genetic testing, although I may be biracial we were told that cord blood is limited due to the mixture of our ethnic background. Crazy right!
On another note after becoming a mom myself, I never realized what my mother had to deal with when she out in public with us. She would tell me all the time no one believed we were her kids if my father wasn’t around. Many people mistaken her for the babysitter or nanny. She has always looked quite young, so I always laughed and shrugged that off until now. In recent events Ive been stopped in the grocery store to not only to tell me how cute Olessia is but to ask if she was actually mine. (Seriously … you think I’m this child chauffeur, of course she’s mine) the utter shock fills their faces when I say yes. I don’t know how I should feel….
Olessia has hazel eyes, very fair skin and golden brown hair, which is mostly straight but has a tiny curl to it. Many of her features are from her father; funny how genetics work. Her father is Polish with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. Strange thing is no one ever stops him to question if Olessia belongs to him. Why me ? because of our difference in hair texture or the complexion of our skin. It’s a bit bothersome because in today’s society where pretty much everyone is biracial you’d think people’s reactions would be different.
I would never want my daughter to feel the a complexity about her ethnicity. She will know and understand all aspects of her background and here’s hoping never feels on the outs of any group because she’s an amazing little human being.
I don’t know if any of you felt this way but would love to know!