Ambiguously Brown. Your confusion becomes hate.

Amber Gerideau,
Lancaster, PA

I’m a mixed-race black woman. My mother is of Irish descent and my father was a dark-skinned African-American. I was born in San Francisco where my family lives for 10 years during 5he 70’s & early 80’s. We then abruptly moved back to my father’s very small hometown in Western Pennsylvania to be closer to family. I don’t like black nor white; however, I’m often mistaken for every other brown ethnicity on earth. But in that small, primarily white, blatantly racist and self-segregated town. My appearance seemed to make everyone, blacks and whites included, very uncomfortable. So I was constantly asked, “What are you”. As if the needed a box to put me in before they could interact with me. I was exposed to a lot of hatred that I have a hard time understanding at first. That alone made my childhood a difficult one.

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