Camille G.S. San Francisco, CA Growing up as a first-generation Asian American, my family would tell me that I should marry a white man for economic and social stability. Not only would I have more stability but I would have “fairer-skinned children.” I hated the way they idolized Caucasians as the end-all for my life. [...]
Linda Morris Shawnee, KS Growing up, I got teased a lot for being a fair-skinned black girl by kids who would assume and make sure I knew that one of my parents surely must be white or another nationality besides “black” (ah, kids). When I became a teen and young adult, I would get asked [...]
Anonymous Sacramento, CA I am mixed Filipina and Mexican. Parents divorced when I was young, both my parents remarried to racist people who felt the need to share their negative opinions, one against any other race but Caucasian (white step-father) and the other against any other race but Mexican (Fair skinned Mexican step-mother).
Renee Wilmot-Graham Severn, MD Americans are surprised when I tell them my family is from Jamaica and even more surprised because I am fair skinned. I guess they assume all Jamaicans are brown skinned. Also I understand but do not speak Patois, which is Jamaica’s every day language.
Carina Tillan Hallandale, FL My rebuttal to that is usually “Then what am I supposed to look like?” You’d be surprised how often people realize they don’t have (or don’t want to give) an answer to that. And heaven forbid they learn I speak Spanish, almost as if it’s a greater accomplishment for me because [...]
Robbie Wolfe Chester, VA My mom and us, her children, were noticeably “lighter” than the rest of my family, which were very brown to dark-skinned people. Yet, that’s how we were greeted on Sundays and family gatherings, in front of other family members, friends and invited guests. Running joke? As I got older, I secretly [...]