My Mixed Identity: Growing Up As A Mixed American
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Politics and Activism

My Mixed Identity: Growing Up As A Mixed American

My Mixed Identity: Growing Up As A Mixed American

It is 2016 and interracial marriage is on the rise. Consequently, the number of mixed Americans is on the rise. Naturally, there is a lot of controversy regarding the matter that comes in different forms. People oppose it for the false reasoning of it violating their religion. From my experience, most people with foolishness claim to be Christians.

Apparently they did not know that Romans 10:12 states: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” Other reasons include protecting the children; the children will be degraded and ostracized for being Mixed. Unfortunately, this is a possibility. However, it is also a possibility that the child will be accepted for who they are.

With a growing Mixed community in the United States, odds are the child and the parents will find others that identify with them. “Supporters” will support it because of society’s fetishization of Mixed people. They want “beautiful mixed babies.” Society has created a standard image of mixed people that does injustice to the Mixed community in more than one way. It presents an image that does not encapsulate all of us, and emphasizes the appearance of children. Children will come out however God wills them to come out. True supporters recognize that love is blind and it weathers all. Regardless, mixed children are liable to undergo an identity crisis at some point in their life.

Although made legal nationwide in 1967 with the ruling of Loving v. Virginia, to this day, interracial relationships are socially frowned upon. Thankfully, that is changing. Unfortunately, 1995 was not a year of interracial support. This was the year I was born to a black mother and a white father. To this day, I live in the Black community. Naturally, growing up, I wanted to be black. It made perfect sense; I grew up raised by a black mother, Black aunt, and black grandparents and therefore grew up culturally African-American. The problem was and is, however, is that I don’t look like my family at first glance. My family is fairly dark, whereas I am not. Consequently, I was on occasion asked if I was adopted as a child. I know who my mother is, and thankfully now people see the resemblance. I learned in kindergarten that I was biracial, but did not think much of it. I thought it was cool, but it never stuck.

Throughout middle school, racial identity was never a problem. No one raised the question of my racial identity. I remember in seventh grade we read Sheila Gordon’s "Waiting for the Rain." It is a book about two boys, Tengo and Frikkie, growing up in Apartheid South Africa. Tengo is black and worked on a farm owned by Frikkie’s uncle. The boys start out as friends, but as time goes on they become enemies. Tengo wants and end to Apartheid, whereas Frikkie wants things to stay the same. Overall, it is a good read and I recommend it. Learning about South Africa and Apartheid, we learned that there was a group in between the whites and the blacks called the Coloureds. These are people who are mixed in spite of the anti-miscegenation laws present in the country. It should be known that most countries did not suffer the One-Drop Rule and therefore recognize mixed people. While this revisited the question of my mixed race, it was once again a cursory thought.

In high school, my claim to blackness was challenged. This came not from the White community, but rather the community that I felt I had belonged to my entire life. For the first time, my blackness was being denied to me. I would be told, “You’re not really black, though.” or a straight up, “You’re not black.” As someone who grew up identifying as black, it was a slap in the face. How dare someone tell me how I can and cannot identify myself?

A person who does not know my upbringing and background should not have the right, or even the gall, to decide my or anyone else’s identity. It must be known, however, that by my senior year I had begun to identify myself as mixed. Much like black leaders of the past, I had begun doing research and discovered that being mixed was not something to be ashamed of, but rather something to embrace and be proud of. Amazingly, for the remainder of my high school career, I could enjoy a state of peace in regards to my racial identity.

In the present, there has been a battle. I have found more people who are mixed and proud of their mixedness. I have continued my research into what it means to be mixed and where mixed people fit in society, et cetera. It continues to be an exciting time as I realize that I am not alone. On the other side of the coin, however, there is a new opposition to being mixed. Ironically, it is coming from the same community that previously stated I do not belong. From what I have seen, there is a resurgence in black supremacist thought. It is coming not from the apostate Nation of Islam, but rather from the Hotep movement.

This is nothing new; there is a character named Shazza Zulu in "A Different World" that is an example of said movement. It is an Egyptocentric movement that belittles all other cultures, even other African ones. It and other black supremacist movements such as the Nation of Yahweh and the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors are born out of centuries of oppression and belittlement at the hands of Whites. While this does not justify their hatred, it does provide a reasoning for it. Aside from their disdain for other races, they completely deny the existence of mixed people. They have resurrected the 'One Drop Rule' – ruled unconstitutional in 1967 with the Loving v. Virginia ruling – and perpetuate racism because they thrive on it. Much like Donald Trump, they require the fear and ignorance of young people to fuel their devilish purposes. A

fter years of denial and exclusion, I and others like me are beginning to form an independent identity only to have it torn from us. Luckily, as Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, “When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.” Just as anti-blackness by the white supremacist establishment has led to subcultures in the black community like the Hoteps, Nation of Islam, and Nuwaubians, I predict that there will be a rise of belligerent subcultures within the mixed community. How? I have no idea; unlike monoracial communities, there is no opportunity for pseudoscience to formulate. Hopefully this never happens, but only time will tell.

At the end of the day, I am half-black and it was the black community that raised me. As such, the black struggle is my struggle. However, I am a mixed man living in a society that has not caught up with the world and recognized the existence of mixed people. As such, my attentions will be split.

To quote Bob Marley, “I don't have prejudice against myself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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