Let's just get the basics out of the way:
My mom is a white Jewish lady with red hair and green eyes and skin as white as paper.
My dad is a black man that is mixed with Creole (which, in itself, is a lot of mixtures) and he has white down his line (we're getting his ancestors DNA test soon)
So now that you know what my parents look like and you know some of their background, let's talk about growing up biracial. And not just biracial, but light biracial (sounds weird, I know).
I do not feel like I fit into either group of black nor white due to how I look. Growing up mixed is so confusing.
My mom does not know how to work with black girl hair so growing up sitting in front of her as she brushed my tangled curls after one day of letting my hair loose at school was torture. I would cry and scream and she'd get frustrated. She was tired of it all so she started relaxing my hair. "Just For Me" relaxer box set was always in my house and became a familiar smell and look to me.
Going to school was always weird since people always thought I was white as a kid. When I learned how to do my own hair (around 5th grade so I was 10), I started going to school with my hair down. People were amazed with how big my hair was. Was it curly though? No, because it was relaxed and I did not know anything about getting curls to show. I was called Hagrid from Harry Potter a lot.
In junior high I stopped letting my mom relax my hair when she decided to let my godmother relax it for once and she burned my scalp. I was bleeding the next day and I was angry. "Never again!" I yelled at my mom as I came out of the bathroom after examining my head for the reason why whenever I scratched my head, there was blood on my hand. Sores were all over the back of my head. Never. Again.
High school came around and I finally started learning about my hair and talking to my dad more openly about being African American. My curls were pretty and the relaxed parts of my hair were slowly being cut off. My dad and I would make jokes about white people and things they do, and it was always odd to me due to the fact my mother is white. He would always tell me, "Yeah, but she's a different kind of white. Her white, Jewish back ground endured torture like our African American background, so her background kind of makes her understand." That makes sense, right?
Junior year of high school, I started trying to become more aware of myself and who I was. I had gotten an ancestry DNA kit done and I was able to see my background better than I ever thought I would. I am 60% Jewish, 34% African, 2% Asian, 2% Greek, and 2% European. With ancestry, you can dive down deeper into where you are from too in all those places. I finally felt like I was piecing myself together.
Senior year I, and to this day (over a year later), I am still confused as to who I belong to, but in the end, I am me. All these different races make me who I am today, and I get that. What bothers me is the idea that society breaks us up: Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian. They do not think about the mixtures. The bi-racial kids are left out, especially the ones that do not look totally bi-racial, like me. For me, I understand all the African American jokes, like the memes about random people touching your fro in public (like excuse me, who are you??). I feel more connected with them, and my friends say I should feel connected to them because I am black, but I do not feel like I am completely there due to how I look. My DNA shows I am black, but it does not mean I look the part. I know a lot of girls who feel the same way.
In the end, we are all going to be mixed and will "be the superior race" as a random mixed guy told me at work the other day (he was cool though so whatever lol). No, all jokes aside, we are all connected so out casting people due to their genetic looks is the most ignorant thing to do. Feeling left out is common, but in the end, there is nothing you can do. There is nothing I can do. All I can do I encourage both sides of me and embrace who I am; the girl who is mixed with everything.
If you enjoyed this or have questions, feel free to message me on any of my social media:
Instagram and Twitter: @annisa_c_love
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