My Biracial Identity Doesn't Fit Into One Category, And I'm Proud Of That

My Biracial Identity Doesn't Fit Into One Category, And I'm Proud Of That

I can easily say with full confidence that my both my parents raised me to see both sides of my ethnicity.

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I am going to start this piece off with something that some people may know and some people probably do not. I am biracial. My father is a white man from Connecticut and my mother is a black woman from Michigan. They both raised me and did an amazing job getting me through life and building me into the man I am today.

I can easily say with full confidence that my both my parents raised me to see both sides of my ethnicity. I am not pigeonholed into one category, but rather I fit into two. Of course, I did things with my black side of the family and my white side of the family and that was completely normal to me. Everything from my pride, values, and the norms in my life were crafted from all the time I spent with them. They taught me that there was nothing wrong with the way I am and that I will look different compared to most people.

Society tried to place me into the one or the other thinking. I was called the n-word on many occasions through being small and being in high school. The other favorite term was "half breed", believe it I was called that a couple of times. I would be the butt of many light-skinned jokes and being told I had to pick a side that I felt more comfortable in. If I would speak proper and not use slang, that was me being too white. If I would eat some fried chicken, that was me being too black. There was really no way in between for the most part. I never tried to claim one of the parts of me that make me who I am. I never strayed away from that.

People reading this will think that is the typical "mixed kid struggles", but these are real struggles that happened to me and I'm sure happens to other mixed kids out there. Being black and white is beautiful to me and I embrace both sides of what makes me. There are features that I have that come from my father and others that came from my mother. I don't place myself in one place anymore. And I am very proud of that.

I found myself through the color of my skin and realized that I don't have to place myself into one part. I am biracial and very proud of everything my parents taught me. My identity is both and I will never try to deny any part of who I am and what makes me. I love the half of me that is white and the other half of me that is black. Find who you are and do not let others make that decision for you is hopefully what those reading this can take from it. Be proud of all of you and I promise you will feel that much better knowing. Stay true to yourself always.

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12 Signs You're From Jackman Maine

You know you're from Jackman just by these few things.
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1. You never lock the doors

The entire parking lot at the store is filled with running cars, all of them with the keys still in the ignition. All are so easy to steal and yet no one touches them.

2. You almost never miss a sports game

Whether you are a sports fan or not, you almost never miss a game. Either you go to watch a friend play or to hang out, there are very few games that you have missed.

3. The cold doesn't bother you

I can't tell you how many times I've gone out in 20 degree weather in a t-shirt to do chores, or have shoveled off the deck in bare feet. Almost rarely the cold seems to be a bother.

4. You own either a snowmobile or ATV

Because what else is there to do in town? Seriously?

5. You've walked down the street all night

And you know that after 5, the road is silent. Unless it's on the weekends when everyone from Quebec is driving through.

6. You go to Old Mill and not the Town Park

Let the tourists go to the park and enjoy it, we'll just enjoy our sandy little b each.

7. You LOVE going to Slidedown

If you don't love the falls, are you even from around here? How can you not love going to Slidedown?

8. The tourists are hilarious

Now we won't say that to any of them because Jackman is a tourist town and needs to have the tourism, but some of the things that people say or do are laugh worthy.

9. Everyone has seen a moose in their backyard

And I mean everyone. I've seen one walk around in the Post Office parking lot, if they're wandering around there, they will be everywhere.

10. Hunting is a way of life

So is fishing. I don't think I know anyone in town who doesn't hunt or fish.

11. Everyone is shocked at your graduating class number

Every time I tell people I graduated in a class of 11, people stare at me like I just grew horns out of my head.

12. You know everyone

Self-explanatory.

Cover Image Credit: Bill Jarvis

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If You Think Belly Dancing Is Sexual, You're Missing The Whole Point

Believe it or not, exposed stomachs aren't inherently sexual.

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What we know as belly dancing here in America started in the middle east as a way for mothers to teach their daughters how to isolate certain muscles that they would use in childbirth, thus making the process an easier one when it was their time to go through it.

This cultural dance began with mothers teaching daughters behind closed doors where men weren't allowed to watch. It's possible that this fact helped cause some of the negative stigmas behind it by people who do not know its true origin.

Long story short (because I'm not looking to place false facts in this article), belly dancing moved over to America after a while and it wasn't necessarily accepted at first. Today, there is a multitude of belly dancing styles, including belly dance fusion which combines more traditional dancing with modern takes on it by blending multiple cultures or dancing styles.

You're probably wondering why a white girl such as myself is trying to educate you on something that clearly isn't a part of my own culture. Well, for those of you who don't know (or who couldn't recognize me from the cover photo), I belly dance at my university as part of an extracurricular club.

This club is easily one that I am most passionate about. I joined the club in my first semester as a freshman and have stuck with it for the past six semesters, and plan to stick with it for my last two. I came into the club with little previous dance experience and no previous belly dance experience, much like almost everyone else I've seen come and go.

I've heard of professors at my school who said they wouldn't go to our shows because it "made him uncomfortable." Why? Because our stomachs are out and we're moving our hips? That doesn't make our dancing inherently sexual.

We have a rule within our club that if any of us go out to parties, we cannot use belly dancing moves to try to woo guys or girls. Because guess what? That's not the point of belly dancing.

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