Black, Papua New Guinea, curious, adopted

Brittany Barnes
Reno, NV

I am adopted. I was born in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, now known as Western New Guinea. I don’t really tell people where I was born, because I don’t find it necessary in conversations and it never really comes up. People look at me and automatically assume that I am African-American and this is not the case, but I don’t really correct them. I consider myself black just to make it easier for people, but what would you call me if someone were to label me. I have done extensive research and I have found that I am Papuan if I were to label myself, but then our government has those stupid boxes to check what race you are. I now put other Pacific Islander because Indonesia/Papua New Guinea are considered to be Pacific Islands. I am a person of mixed cultures given the circumstances and the environment I was raised in. I don’t talk “black” or act “black” and people always say oh you’re such a white girl, or oh you’re so white washed. It may sound like a joke especially when it comes to friends saying this, but it’s like, why does having a skin color have to limit someone’s ability to talk or act a certain way. I feel that my friends judge me all the time because of the way I sound or act and it’s tiring. I want to tell people where I come from, but I hate explaining my life story. So for whoever is reading this, tell me…what do you think? Are people who are born in Papua New Guinea considered black? Pacific Islander? Is there anyone else out there that was born in Papua New Guinea? I need someone to talk to about this. Even just to hear opinions about this. Thanks.


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