I remember when I was about 5 or 6, or whatever time we started kindergarten, not just me, but this generation, I was confused. Lost. Afraid even. I went to a private school, so besides being one of the only mixed girls at the school, I was also only one of the three or four black kids to enter the grade. It was hard on me, I didn’t fit in, couldn’t fit in with everyone else. It was difficult on me, my parents too, because it must have been hard to know your daughter couldn’t find a reason to like or even love herself at such a young age. The freckles made it worse. But at least I had something that the white kids had that the black kids didn’t, which made me feel even more alienated from both social groups. Of course, everyone was so fascinated with them, people at school, teachers, strangers on the street. Sure, I loved the attention though, but how much attention they drew to me did not make me feel any better about myself. “Your mother must have freckles” they’d say, more as a statement then a question, feeling like they were trying to get me to choose a race between the two that I was.
I wanted them gone, I didn’t like being more of one race than the other. I wanted to be both and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just do that. I didn’t understand why I had to be “more white” or “more black.” But I understand now, it’s just simply a product of the racial divide in the American social system. I didn’t come to this realization until very recently. When a boy I was talking to told me his parents were racist and heavily against interracial couples, so my existence was already taxing to them. I couldn’t process how little sense that made, because not being allowed to date a race didn’t exist in my family. My parents were from two separate walks of life and didn’t let the hatred of others stop them from being with who they wanted. And although this boy and I are not going to get married, it was still so strange to me that parents could be so cruel so not want mixed children, simply because they didn’t believe in it.
It’s just like being called an Oreo, it isn’t something to take lightly or just jokingly say. In a way, it’s hurtful and even disrespectful to some. The fact that you are insinuating that we, as mixed girls, or even boys, are just black on the outside and white on the inside. And I know you’re thinking in your head now “My mixed friends don’t complain about it! It’s just a joke” and yeah, sure it’s just a joke. Sure they don’t complain. We’ve been taught to let it go, because it happens so often, it’s better to just let it go, to agree with you, than to argue with you about why it makes us so uncomfortable.
Mixed girls have fallen into the normality that having to choose sides of their parent’s race and if they don’t, they are labeled differently. This is quite a shame when we should be loving our mixed race, feeling gifted that we get to celebrate being not just one race, but two. This goes out to the parents of the mixed race kids, mixed race kids and everyone else who does their best to let us know that we are blessed and don’t have to worry about trivial things such as how “white” or “black” we are.
And in times like this, as the Black Lives Matter movement hits stronger and stronger times, people look at us and wonder "Are they for the police or for the people" and it shouldn't be a question because we still have melanin in our souls - but people are still trying to divide mixed kids into boxes labeled white and black and of course it's sad.
We are mixed, are we are proud.