Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oreos and Zebra Stripes

Alright so this blog is actually slightly more bloggy than my other ones I think. To your right you can see a picture. That's me with my sister. Biological, non-adopted sisters.

I'm not always sure who to identify with. As a biracial person I mean. Because I've grown up in White society, but at the same time, I identify with my Black roots much more, and have thrown myself into situations with minority groups.

For example, there's this one program that I did throughout high school called MSEA (Math Science and Engineering Academy) for the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program at Fort Valley State University. Located in Peach County, Georgia, Fort Valley is an HBCU and I was surrounded, not only by Black people, but southern Black people. If you haven't looked at the difference, check it out. Like, Black people in DC are completely different than those from Atlanta and Macon and Warner Robins. Alright, nonetheless, I think it was at this time when I immersed myself much more in Black culture.

Up until that point I could relate with White culture exponentially more than I could with Black culture. I mean, come on, I live in Northern Virginia where the percentage of Black population is at about 11% I think. Then we moved to Carson City, Nevada where the Black population was even smaller at 1.8%. I moved to Carson City when I was 3 and stayed there til I was 8 or 9. Ultimately I think living there affected me so that I was almost completely oblivious to any racial differences. I'm trying to remember a single black person in any of my classes in elementary school and I can't do it. Interesting.

Anyhow. Throughout high school, like I said, I became more "in touch" with Black culture and realized that I actually could relate to it more than I knew. And I'm considered a minority because you can tell I'm not White solely just by looking at me. I know I identify with minorities and have all of the same things to go through, but I just don't truly fit in anywhere.

Even in my family, everyone looks one way or another and I'm just the misfit. My sister looks White. No question about it. My dad is Black and my mom is White. And even my cousins (their mom is White and their dad is Hawaiian) look Hawaiian. Yeah I'm gonna be stereotypical and say I feel like I don't fit in.

I check the box "Other" when there is no "Biracial" or "Multiracial". I don't feel like I can only check the box that is labeled "Black" or "African American" or whatever. I've done it before when it doesn't even have an "Other" on it, but I feel like White society has made me so much of what I am.

I'm clearly confused.

And when people started asking if I'm Hispanic I was like "Wait...what?" I've never gotten that before going to Penn State. I mean, maybe people thought it, but they sure didn't ask me about it. So that makes everything feel more complicated.

Confusion sparks thought so maybe I'll get somewhere with this today.

1 comment:

Your turn. Speak.