Growing up mixed race, in a world where we constantly identify each other with the colour of our skin or culture allowed me to be open minded and dip my feet into each pool. I would like to think the world is at a place where skin colour and different cultures are all accepted and that it doesn’t matter – but of course, that isn’t the case. I got some of the best and the worst from both of my parents. And also some pros and cons from the simple fact that I’m not identifiable as one race in itself.
My mum is white British/Spanish and my dad is black Jamaican/Guyanese. Which means answering the question “where are you from?” is not as simple as some. I think both my mother and father were looked down on by their families for dating and having a baby with someone out of their race. I mean I’m probably the lightest skinned at my dad’s family events and definitely the darkest at my mums. People’s reaction is always ‘oh your mum likes black guys’ or ‘oh your dad likes white women’. I’ve even experienced my mum being called a ‘nigger’ lover.
So I’m ‘mixed-race’, which is such a vague term. I mean, mixed with what? The term shows nothing. Rather it explains more of the coming together of my parents, of racial divisions. All it shows is that my parents are not of the same race, there is no history or meaning behind it because it can mean so many things.
Growing up I always felt like I had to pick a side. I was either ‘black mixedrace’ or ‘white mixedrace’. I didn’t ever feel like there was a group of people who had my background who I could relate to. Although growing up many would describe me as ‘black MR’, it was my white mother who mainly brought me up. It was my love of rap/dancehall music, my sense of style and my usual group of friends that placed me in that category. Although I was just me. I wasn’t black and I wasn’t white.
I mean in some ways, I am apparently too white to be black. I’m not aloud to wear dreadlocks or use certain slang words because I’m not black. But to some people’s eyes I’m black, even if I’m only half. Barak Obama is classed as black. He is indeed mixedrace just like me. I guess I just don’t like the fact people pick and choose when they want me to be either or.
If you’re not mixedrace you will only understand to a certain extent. I just feel like I don’t fit the mould of a typical mixed race person. And I don’t understand why there is such thing as a typical mixedrace person if MR can mean so many things.
It also means I hate racism twice as much and I experience it twice as much. People assume I can’t dance or cook because I’m half white and people think they can spud me at inappropriate times because I’m half black. I really get the worst of it. Although I’ve gotten used to it and don’t really let it get to me anymore – it still happens and it shouldn’t.
Long story short – no one speaks for the multiracial. Being multiracial is only a recent thing in time as it wouldn’t of been aloud not long ago. So I think with all this racism in the world, we’re forgotten.
Being mixedrace means something and has pros and cons too ❤