But where are you really from?

Dionyves Martin,
The United Kingdom

Growing up mixed race is confusing. All too often you are expected to choose sides as if part of a childish game of goodies and baddies. The country you were born in and identify with comes second to the colour of your skin. ‘Where were your parents born then?’, is often a follow-up question. They were both also born in the UK if you were wondering.

‘Aren’t you lucky for having such exotic colouring!’ has begun to sound like a really nice way to say, ‘oh goodie, your diluted Blackness fits more comfortably into my ideology of beauty, your racial ambiguity feels easier to define as I can now call your skin ‘tanned’ and your hair ‘curly’, terms holding familiarity in my white-washed culture.’

I definitely benefit from white privilege. Not a card I enjoy carrying. It ‘helps’ that I received a good education and financial support. But it’s funny, as soon as it comes down to it I am still expected to choose. Am I black or white? Why can’t I be both? Why can’t I be more?

 

Tweets by Michele Norris