Overheard at work today:
(The white girl)
‘I’m Italian, irish, Scottish, Native American , and French….’
(me, the black girl, THINKING)
Really? I’m black, and African American, and colored and Negro.
no, but seriously. as long as i can remember in school, the other black girls would always ask me, "what are you mixed with?" constantly. i couldn't really understand it,but it was always asked. it was always the darker skinned girls, usually. i couldn't understand this because even though i'm light skinned, i don't think i looked biracial. plus, why did it matter?
constantly being asked that influenced me, too. i found myself then and even now when i meet an "ambigously biracial" woman wondering what she is mixed with, or if she's even biracial at all--as if it helps me figure out my place or something. even more importantly, i always feel like i need to know whether or not they consider themselves black. i've met women who look black, nappy hair and all, but after talking with them, i learned that they're panamanian, or columbian, or puerto rican, and truly don't consider themselves black. weird, eh? Probably not as weird to a white person as it is to a black person. and i have to admit, it always disappoints me. i'm not sure exactly why. it's like they're telling me that they could never relate to me, or they that somehow they're exempt from all the ugly stereotypes and racism.
i have this friend, whose mom is creole (mixed french, black, indian-more black than the other two ethnicites), and her dad is black. for as long as i've known her, she will swear up and down that she's not black. i can't remember the exact situation, but a long time ago, we were out together and somehow friends started talking about races, and someone asked her if she was black (she looks black, she IS black, I don't remember why they were asking), and she replied that she was not black, she was Creole. I was so irritated. Like somehow, she is better than all the black people, and doesn't want to be classified as one of them. She's actually proud that she thinks people don't think she's black.
She's also married to a white man. Figures. I can't stand that type of attitude. Yeah, my husband is white too, but not because I'm trying not to be black. And, i dont compromise my blackness to be married to him, either.