White-skinned negro: community of one.

602293_646258256191_1620018807_n1Jada Golden Sherman,
Boston, MA.

I’m so frustrated with people’s limited understanding and acceptance of genetics, and upbringing. The labels ‘white’ and ‘black’ are over-generalized. Especially when now that we have dark parents having white-looking babies, and white-looking parents having brown babies. Not all white people are…white, nor “white-minded”.My mother’s family is African-American, and many of them are really really light. As a child, on occasion I was made fun of because I come from a black family – making fun of my hair when it’s not straightened, or my dolls, or my name, or my momma. My mother was incredibly on-point, and progressive in the way she ensured that I view the world aware of who I am, her people’s beauty and also their struggle, and my part in it. I honestly feel like I don’t fit in anywhere.

I’m often exed out of communities that I want to participate in, and am pushed towards white communities because that’s where people think I belong. Now as an adult, I’m made fun of more frequently because I am white. People telling me, “No offense but I’d never hook-up with a white girl. Your lips are too thin.” I’ve been told that my acceptance into a historically black college was to fill their white quota, not because of my brain. As a school teacher in an urban district, I’ve been given grave looks of disappointment when going to interviews because they assumed by my name and résumé that I was not “white”. And yes, its easier for White folk to move along through society, but not when you’re trying to move along in non-white societies. I’m always against the current. The only time that I have felt peace is when I was introduced to the film, “Cracking the Codes”. This is really just a splinter of my experiences, observations, and understandings regarding race. I’m not necessarily complaining but it is exhausting not having any like-minded folks to discuss issues with, because in my experiences people are so divided into black and white groups.

White people don’t understand what I’m saying, and black people don’t think I know what I’m talking about and therefore don’t share knowledge with me. These are over-generalizations, but incidents none the less. I’ve also cut people off from my life after years of knowing them, because they will say the most scary racist mantras about black people. Most of the hateful things that I’ve heard about African-Americans have not come from Caucasians, nor republicans, but many many other ethnicities and Democrats! However, I have used my whiteness for the advantage of studying oppressive behaviors in white communities. There are indeed many different kinds of white communities. Some are just unaware of the real struggles people of color go through, and therefore don’t necessarily know how to change it. Then there are other communities that are disgustingly oppressive. The things I’ve heard!! So I’ve made it a habit of not telling people up front, what my background is because I learn more about them that way, and learn who to trust. Regardless of the limited “reverse-racism” I’ve experienced from African-Americans, it is nothing compared to the oppressive fear and hate I’ve observed other ethnic groups say about, and do, towards African-Americans. That I know to be true. Because of this truth, I want my voice to be heard and given a chance by the African-American communities I try and become a part of, because my insights are valuable. Also, I do not support the color-blind ideology.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • Jon

    I feel you, Sister! I grew up not being so racially identifiable, and the things white people would say in my presence-people I considered friends- I found very disturbing. I recently had an aquaintance cancel a lunch date and cease contact with me after learning from a mutual friend that I considered myself Black. I call myself the “undercover brother”.

    • Justin_Igger

      Those coming from a mixed background of White and black are by no means White. They are always full blown black.

  • barry irving

    …you should read “5 Reasons why White Pride is always Racist”..Salon, 1/9/15.
    it gives some interesting facts on the term White historically. I noticed that you use that word a lot. It seems to me that you are mixed race. Most mixed (African ) ethnicities identify as African American. The article is written by Whites.

    …passing is addressed in the article too…what you shared is the reality of living in a hybrid society that wants to see itself as one in word, but not necessarily in deed. It is all of our jobs to address it according to our fire or water! No one of any color is spared the Institutional Indoctrination that America has used historically to keep the majority ahead!

 

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